Saturday, September 19, 2009

Blame the Internet? Nope, says book I have not read

I wrote a post last month that there is much hysteria blaming the internet for a variety of problems and that it was exactly that--hysteria. I suggested that the internet was not all that different from the advent of the phone, etc. And, as it turns out, I am not alone. See this salon piece that reviews a book makes the same argument, more or less, but better with things like facts.

Every communication advancement throughout human history, from the pencil to the typewriter to writing itself, has been met with fear, skepticism and a longing for the medium that's been displaced.... "A Better Pencil" is both a defense of the digital revolution and a keen examination of how technology both improves and complicates our lives.

I start with Plato's critique of writing where he says that if we depend on writing, we will lose the ability to remember things. ... Of course we remember all this because Plato wrote it down -- the ultimate irony.

But the people who yearn for the good old days of older technology like typewriters don't seem to realize there never were any good old days. At the same time, in looking at new technology, it never does everything that people promise it will.
More juicy stuff--read the post and perhaps even the book!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is true of communication inventions for sure. But, haven't other types of advancements been met with fear and skepticism? Scientific ones like the 'solar' system and evolution. Athletic ones like the wildcard playoff system.
Teaching women to read. Hey, change is awful tough for human beings to accept. But, this does not mean that change is always good. Taking a stand for the status quo can be revolutionary (see the American Revolution).