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The Idea Of Global Village

First, on the idea of technology and media shrinking ˜space' and ˜time'. The second aspect is the liberalization of markets and a third angle is the freedom of transportation. These three factors combine to strengthen the notion of the world really being a global village. Most citizens of the ˜first world' are happy to believe that this indeed is the case. They claim that if they can follow a war being fought in another country on their TV sets like its happening in their living room. The world must have shrunk. They cite instances of people corresponding in a matter of seconds through voice chat and Emails. An old father in Mumbai proudly displays the earnings of his NRI son through quick money transfers. A husband in Sun City smiles as his wife in London gets a bouquet, bought and delivered through internet services. And a young man exults in the ˜small world' where he breakfasts in Banglore and has lunch in Singapore!!! It is feedbacks of this nature that prompted McLuhan to write: ˜Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned' .

So, does that mean the world is a global village? No, it does not. The reason for the negation is that though the above examples are true for a certain section of the world, they do not hold true for the majority of the world. It is sad but true that a large section of world population comprising the third world is still not connected to the rest of the world¦politically, economically, socially and technologically.

Technology and media have still left many places and lives untouched. People living in the interior parts of India, China, Middle East, Africa¦they are largely unaware of where the other world has reached. As for the liberalization of trade or shall we call it globalization, if one looks closer, it is nothing but disguised colonialism. Just that now it is economic instead of political. A convenient way for the rich countries to get richer at the cost of the poor ones. The money transfers are still to happen both ways!

Last, but not the least¦freedom of transportation. Well! Imagine a country like Ethiopia where 80% of a person's earning is spent on water. Who has the money to travel? And if one has the money¦well..then one is just lucky enough to be a part of the ˜exclusive global village'.

A global village then is akin to Orwell's Utopia- a dream worth dreaming¦but still a dream.

By: Gabriel