Counterpoint on Web 2.0....

In the midst of all the Web 2.0 hoopla comes this:

The Internet is changing the economics of creative work - or, to put it more broadly, the economics of culture - and it's doing it in a way that may well restrict rather than expand our choices. Wikipedia might be a pale shadow of the Britannica, but because it's created by amateurs rather than professionals, it's free. And free trumps quality all the time. So what happens to those poor saps who write encyclopedias for a living? They wither and die.

Like it or not, Web 2.0, like Web 1.0, is amoral. It's a set of technologies - a machine, not a Machine - that alters the forms and economics of production and consumption. It doesn't care whether its consequences are good or bad. It doesn't care whether it brings us to a higher consciousness or a lower one. It doesn't care whether it burnishes our culture or dulls it. It doesn't care whether it leads us into a golden age or a dark one.

Tough talk, for sure, but valid.

I'm as much as a technology geek as the next guy, but the more really cool software I find, the more I realize that the limitations of technology are nothing compared to the limitations of human behavior. Which is why a guy like Dave Pollard probably has a better take on the future of the Web than some software engineers with clever code.


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