Nice Takedown Of NYT Editor/Caveman Bill Keller's Platitude-Drenched Yearnings For a Less Connected, Less Real-Time (and Presumably Less Media-Decentralized) World
Gizmodo's Mat Honan undertakes the righteous fisking.
A taste (emphasis mine)...
The crux of Keller's argument lies in a single paragraph:
Basically, we are outsourcing our brains to the cloud. The upside is that this frees a lot of gray matter for important pursuits like FarmVille and "Real Housewives." But my inner worrywart wonders whether the new technologies overtaking us may be eroding characteristics that are essentially human: our ability to reflect, our pursuit of meaning, genuine empathy, a sense of community connected by something deeper than snark or political affinity.
Keller makes the same mistake in dismissing Twitter and Facebook and, well, modernity, that critics ten to twelve years ago made in dismissing blogging: he confuses medium with message. Twitter, and any technology, is what you make of it. If you choose to do superficial things there, you will have superficial experiences. If you use it to communicate with others on a deeper level, you can have more meaningful experiences that make you smarter, build lasting relationships, and generally enhance your life.
Instead he focuses on the short form, and its rapid fire nature. He bemoans what it does to memory and genuine interaction. His criticism echoes what previous generations said about television, about newspapers about pamphlets and even about the written word itself. In fact, it's strikingly similar to the argument Socrates leveled against writing (which presumably Keller is in favor of):
[F]or [the use of letters] will create forgetfulness in the learners' souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.
Check out the rest.
Handcrafted by Flip on May 18, 2011 |
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