Internet is spelt “revolution”
27 March 2009 4 Comments
This is a bit off-topic — been a slower week in terms of art and aesthetics, apparently — but very interesting. My wife posted a link to a long article talking about the current media revolution, particularly how it relates to newspapers. Some excerpts:
And, per Thompson, [the newspapers] suing people who love something so much they want to share it would piss them off . . .
With the old economics destroyed, organizational forms perfected for industrial production have to be replaced with structures optimized for digital data. It makes increasingly less sense even to talk about a publishing industry, because the core problem publishing solves — the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public — has stopped being a problem . . .
“How did we get from the world before the printing press to the world after it? What was the revolution itself like?”
Chaotic, as it turns out. The Bible was translated into local languages; was this an educational boon or the work of the devil? Erotic novels appeared, prompting the same set of questions. Copies of Aristotle and Galen circulated widely, but direct encounter with the relevant texts revealed that the two sources clashed, tarnishing faith in the Ancients. As novelty spread, old institutions seemed exhausted while new ones seemed untrustworthy; as a result, people almost literally didn’t know what to think. If you can’t trust Aristotle, who can you trust? . . .
The competition-deflecting effects of printing cost got destroyed by the internet, where everyone pays for the infrastructure, and then everyone gets to use it.
I’ve referenced the revolution caused by the printing press in certain internet-related discussions over the past few years, and although I may not be all that well read on the topic I have to say that I haven’t heard many other people compare it to the digital media revolution. Kudos, thus, to Clay Shirkey, who’s managed to cull more than 700 comments and trackbacks on this post — only the third entry on the blog.
Read the whole article via this link. Yes, it’s long, but well-written and worth the time.