Sun
Jan 13 2008
05:13:pm

(link...)
Do you think we are there (here) now?

I'm fine with it on a personal level, but from a sociological standpoint it worries me. The paradigm shift from those who use the power of the internet and other technologies to those who don't is a vast difference from even 25+ years ago when the difference was a matter of touch-tone vs rotary, tape vs cd, oven vs microwave, etc.?

With those examples, it was still a matter of device - the content was the same. A few decades ago, a conversation at the water cooler was one you could almost always share in. For the most part, everyone read/watched the same news, same shows (1 in 3 chance before cable), and read at least one of the same book. With the billions of different avenues the internet and technology can take us - that's not so anymore.

With all my heart and with no ill intention, I really do believe ignorance is bliss. I'm just not sure I would want to be that happy.

Do you see technology shifting society?

Yes and no

Actually, I think that by comparing it to Future Shock, which is a negative, your question "do you see technology shifting society" is a loaded one. Yes, technology is shifting society - but IMO in a good way. Blogging, for instance. Technology provides a place where anybody can come and provide information to the public - and the powers that be can't suppress it. Depending on your point of view, this could be considered a subversive thing - but I'd maintain that it is a good thing.

I've got a little different take on the conversation at the water cooler concept, as well - perhaps people in the same demographic group would watch the same news and TV shows - but social groups were much more insular back then. People were often more-or-less unaware of the difference in the lives of other demographic groups. One thing that we get from technology now is that we have a chance to see much more about how other people live, and exchange ideas with people with different backgrounds - it gives a much broader view of the world. I just don't think broader view and greater opportunity to learn about the world necessarily equal future shock.

One thing that we get from

One thing that we get from technology now is that we have a chance to see much more about how other people live, and exchange ideas with people with different backgrounds - it gives a much broader view of the world.

On this we agree, but what if the government face of the area in which you live is one of a xenophobe? If leadership goals were outward instead of inward - global thinking is a prerequisite. If not, government could use the world as something to fear. An example would be a mayor using the "dangers" of post world 911 as an excuse to keep citizens from meeting at local government buildings. This leadership might also drum up fake outrage at a meeting were they warn of bloggers as if they were old line KGB.

At least those are some of the facts I've been able to garnish locally.

That was at least part of my point

You mentioned this particular escapade:

This leadership might also drum up fake outrage at a meeting were they warn of bloggers as if they were old line KGB.

I'd have to say "so what?" Really, this just proves part of my point. a.) They recognize that the bloggers are a threat to the old guard, because it is a public forum for the dissemination of a point of view they don't like and b.) they can't stop it.

Ultimately, by being such an effective means of communication, the internet is a major agent of change. In a good way, IMO. It becomes very much more difficult to keep your population ignorant and in the dark.

Back to your original question, I'm not concerned about information overload. The internet and the TV have one thing in common - an OFF button. People can use it as they see fit.

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