From the concluding paragraph of William Bernstein’s Masters of the Word: How Media Shaped History, published in 2013:
For the first time, a significant fraction of the world’s citizens can be in instant communication with one another and send words, pictures, and videos across the planet. The coming decades will see, in China and elsewhere, the political, social, and cultural fallout from this explosion in human communication. Most of these changes should be as positive as they will be unpredictable.
Should be, eh? As the kids like to say these days: this certainly aged well. Though I suppose “the coming decades” offers enough of an extended timeframe to make any prediction appear valid. I often wonder where people get this idea that communication itself will be a net positive for human relations. Have they never heard of the narcissism of small differences? Is there any hatred more intense than that which festers between family members, friends or neighbors?
November 7, 2019 @ 5:47 pm
Gotta love it. Like those dunderheads that predicted back in ’98 that the Internet could never be monetized and would bring about world peace. But tools don’t change human nature, they amplify it.
November 7, 2019 @ 7:45 pm
I also wondered how, if the results will be “unpredictable,” they can be assumed to be “mostly positive.” Doesn’t that sentence negate itself?
November 8, 2019 @ 12:20 pm
But Damian, all change is good. Change/Good. They’re synonyms.
November 8, 2019 @ 2:57 pm
“No, it’s not going to be fine, change is never fine. They say it is, but it’s not.”
— Sheldon Cooper, wise man