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[Nettime-bold] Re: killing shakespeare
W R E Reynolds on Wed, 17 Apr 2002 04:06:02 +0200 (CEST)


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[Nettime-bold] Re: killing shakespeare


> So let's look at the "new media," as promoted by technologically
illiterate social engineers

I would suggest something rather the opposite: socially-illiterate
technical engineers. My thesis has always been that when confronted with
issues that involve technology the vast majority of citizens simply turn
to the experts. The problem is they turn to the wrong experts.

Information technology is driven by a technologically-determined
innovation - i.e. look what we can do! Rather than, what should we be
doing?

That is one of the reasons so many hi-tech ideas, products, business
actually fail. For the most part it is a thoughtless crap shoot that has
little to with needs, wants or even desires. 

After having said all that, I do believe that new media will change the
world, but that we remain in the infancy of that change. I certainly
believe that the proliferation of all forms of media has been the
dominant force for change over the past 150 years. The "new media"
differs in a few respects (particularly its ability to impact the  very
form of previously mature media) but it is, in the end analysis, just
another medium of delivering information to people.

Returning to the issue of timelines, after researching and writing
extensively on this subject, I believe that one of the difficulties we
have in evaluating the impact of new media is ridiculous expectations.
As in: well, its been 5 years, why hasn't the world changed?) We often
confuse the seemingly rapid and accelerated pace of technological
development with the pace of change in human behaviour.

I believe that our habits relative to this new media will evolve slowly
and at approximately the same rate as with other media (TV, radio,
railroad, telegraph, etc.). In these other cases there was similar
confusion. In reality I easily developed a method of benchmarking the
various points in the evolution of media and its impact on society and
found a stunning congruence in timelines.

Let us revisit this conversation in 20 years and see then what impact
these new channel's have had.

That said, I still prefer books!!

  
a toi l'angoisse, a moi la rage 
_____  

W.  Richard  Reynolds de La Rochelle
journalist / writer / polemicist / semi-semiotician
 

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