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Understanding New Media

Extending Marshall McLuhan – Second Edition


Robert K. Logan

Marshall McLuhan made many predictions in his seminal 1964 publication, Understanding Media: Extensions of Man. Among them were his predictions that the Internet would become a «global village,» making us more interconnected than television; the closing of the gap between consumers and producers; the elimination of space and time as barriers to communication; and the melting of national borders. He is also famously remembered for coining the expression «the medium is the message.» These predictions form the genesis of this updated volume by Robert K. Logan, a friend and colleague who worked with McLuhan. In this second edition of Understanding New Media Logan expertly updates McLuhan’s Understanding Media to analyze the «new media» McLuhan foreshadowed and yet was never able to analyze or experience. The book is designed to reach a new generation of readers as well as appealing to scholars and students who are familiar with Understanding Media.
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Chapter 45. Search Engines Plus Google and Libraries


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· 45 ·


Content and extension: Search engines like Google whose content is programmed search algorithms extend the written word available on the World Wide Web and hence extend both the Web and the mind of the Web surfer.

LOM: Search engines enhance access to information, obsolesce the library, retrieve the index, and reverse into one document that embraces all that was ever written with search engines serving as the index and table of contents of this universal document.

45.1  Search Engines

Not since Gutenberg invented the modern printing press more than 500 years ago, making books and scientific tomes affordable and widely available to the masses, has any new invention empowered individuals or transformed access to information as profoundly as Google.

—David A. Vise (2008), author of The Google Story

A search engine is a program that finds information stored on computer systems. Some search engines restrict their search to the user’s computer and some search networked computers such as the World Wide Web. Our focus in ← 363 | 364 → this chapter is on the latter types because they are absolutely indispensable for making all of the extensive content of the World Wide Web accessible to its users. A Net search engine is a search engine that sends a user’s requests to several other search engines and aggregates the results from each one. They have the advantage of...

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