A futurist looks to the past to understand the present "Gutenberg Moment"

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/16/a-futurist-looks-to-the-past-t.html


This dovetails with the central tenets of Rushkoff’s Program or Be Programmed, which follows technologies as far back as the written word, and points out how there is always a small group that has the ability to control and create media, and a much, much larger group whose ability is limited to consuming what that elite has created.


[quote]The unintended consequence of democratization of media channels is that good stuff gets harder to find or pay attention to as it gets drowned out in the sea of trash.

Instead, we need to imagine and prototype new institutional arrangements and new ways of governing a democratic society, given today’s technological capabilities and challenges.[/quote]

I was listening to an interview with the historian James Burke (of Connections), and he was excited about a new model of government based upon the same kind of algorithms that Target uses to tell when you’re pregnant so they can sell you strollers. These algorithms would be able to gauge what you want and make political changes on a dime, thereby responding to social change faster than our current system could. But to me that sounds like some kind of Black Mirror dystopia because there’s a pretty huge gap between what I want and I think know to be wise, and I doubt whether an algorithm can distinguish between the two.

Certainly recent events have served to remind us of why people were afraid of democracy to begin with.


William Bullock knew this.

From the quoted snippet I wonder if I too can get an advanced degree or consulting position in pointing out the obvious?


“What did the invention of the letterpress ever do for us?”

  • “Brought the Peace of Westphalia?”

Peace? SHUT UP!”

(hurries off, whistling)

What has the letterpress ever done for us?!?

Widespread literacy?

Well, yes. But besides that?

The reformation?
The advancement of the sciences!

Okay, okay- But besides literacy, the peace of Westphalia, the advancement of science, the Protestant reformation, public education, and the Renaissance, WHAT HAS THE LETTERPRESS DONE FOR US?



I dare you say Peace again!

Also, comments sections!

That’s not what you already spend your time here doing?

Somebody pay this man!

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Please. I just recently became funemployed. I’m available to bloviate on a wide range of subjects.

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