Don't let anyone accuse me of being a luddite when it comes to new technology. I have been professionally involved with the internet since the early 1990, created my first web site in 1995, contributed to the development of electronic commerce in the UK home entertainment market, worked closely with Amazon and other online retailers, consulted on intellectual property management, and have been blogging for almost ten years. But recent posts here have touched on how extended exposure to the internet is rewiring our brains and how online retailing has devastated the specialist independent retail sector. And don't let anyone accuse me of being a lone voice. My 2012 post Is there life after the Huffington Post? - a post incidentally I almost didn't write because I thought nobody would be interested in it - generated one of the largest readerships in the nine year history of On An Overgrown Path. Others believe the insidious influence of the internet goes even deeper and below are some chance thoughts on the subject from wiser heads than mine:
'[Jason] Calacanis has proposed a 'Harris's Law' - named after pseudo.com founder Jason Harris - that at some point, 'all humanity in an online community is lost, and the goal becomes to inflict as much psychological suffering as possible on another person'. Calacanis talks about most committed bloggers burning out after a few years, worn down by the bitter anonymous comments posted namelessly below their work' - Andrew Smith Totally WiredIndustry experts tell us that classical music's future lies in the mythical mass market at the centre of the network. And that is utter nonsense; because if intelligence moves to the edge, so should classical music - both culturally and technically. Which is hardly a revelation as classical music flourished at the edge of the network before losing its way in the black hole that is now at the centre.
'I share, therefore I am' - Sherry Turkle
'Controversy is what mediocre people start because they can't communicate anything meaningful' - G. Willow Wison The Butterfly Mosque
'Anonymity is probably the worst thing we have on the internet. It's only the hippy, 60s, Electronic Frontier Foundation [EFF] contingent who still want that. Anonymity is great for a mature person; for an immature person or a damaged person, it's not. Empathy filters get turned off' - Jason Calacanis
'Godwin's Law', named after an observation by EEF founder Mike Godwin, predicts that, given enough time, any online debate will end with one party likening another's views to those of Hitler or the Nazis; at which point all hope of dialogue ends.
'Controversy is seen as the best thing for a writer's career short of actual success' -G. Willow Wison The Butterfly Mosque
'Publication is the auction of the Mind of Man' - Emily Dickinson
'We’re harvesting our lives and putting them online. We’re addicted to gaining followers and friends ... and reading comments we get in return. As we look for validation and our daily 15 minutes of fame, we do so at the cost of our humanity. What a shame, because there is so much to be gained from sharing. In summary, how we treat each other does matter. it matters because, without empathy, our lives are shallow, self-centred and meaningless. The internet and technology are turning on us...' - Jason Calacanis
'Intelligence moves to the edge of the network' - old tech adage
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