The shock of inclusion


Erudition has suffered two severe blows with the recent deaths of Andrew Patner and Andrew Porter. Dilettantes such as this writer can only lament the changing landscape of music journalism while leaving the fulsome tributes to those better qualified. For every benefit there is a cost, as new media commentator Clay Shirky reminds us in the compendium How is the Internet changing the way you think?
The shock of inclusion, where professional media give way to participation by 2 billion amateurs (a threshold which was crossed in 2010), means that the average quality of public thought has collapsed; when anyone can say anything anytime, how could it not? If the only consequence of this influx of amateurs is the destruction of existing models for producing high-quality material, we would be at the beginning of another Dark Ages. So it falls to us to make sure that isn't the only consequence.
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