There has been an undercurrent of unease with web 2.0 and the social media/digital revolution. Nowhere (that I can find) is the debate more compelling and well-put than Michael Gorman at Brittanica’s The Sleep of Reason. Andrew Keen tries to historicise Gormans posts parts I and II.
In short, Gorman argues that much of the new generation of web-savvy digital advocates have quote rose-tinted lenses about the whole thing, much as in earlier ages people have flocked to the promise of new technologies and ideas — only to be disappointed.
The responses to the posts are as interesting as the posts themselves. From my perspective, the most vituperative attacks on Gorman and his ideas ironically make his points all the more powerful, poignant, interesting, and relevant.
“Methinks the lady doth protest too much…”
At any rate, is this the one time in history that there is no balance of reality against hyperbole? That any left behind in the digital revolution are doomed to a miserable future where scrounging in the grime of Actual Reality we live existences that are short, nasty and brutish?
I don’t think so. Sorry. This digital world is amazing and promises a lot, particularly when it comes to entertainment, connecting to ideas and people, but in basic economic terms it is a complementary good, not a subsitutute good.