To follow on naive ideas about economy…
I tend to pick on the recording industry and others. In my mind, the
RIAA and other big organizations are just too greedy. Not that smaller
organizations are devoid of greed, but smaller organizations have more
reasonable aims and less of an impact. There’s been a lot of “mergers
and acquisitions” in a number of industries (including those I care
most about: music, publishing, beer, computers). International
conglomerates and other merged entities aren’t inherently evil. But
they’re quite dangerous. Many of them are just not doing their job.
I do care about the fact that corporations are pretty lousy at
“listening to what people want.” Creating needs can be an effective
way to achieve short-sighted goals but it’s not a way to help society
as a whole.
One ad for Salon Premium describes the impact of media convergence as
“everybody thinking the same way.” The message is interesting but
Salon doesn’t seem to move in the opposite direction which would be to
allow free (as in speech) movement of information, “readers” being
allowed to compose their own image of reality based on different feeds
(yes, I’m thinking about RSS/Atom as an interesting alternative). On
the ‘Net, it matters fairly little if a “piece” comes from from the
NYT, AFP, or a corporate press release. Those publications have ceased
to be guarantees of “trustworthy information.” The concept of
information itself is slowly transforming, in the minds of several
people. Not necessarily that it’s closer to Shannon and Weaver’s
model, with associated notions of entropy, but not everyone thinks of
“bits of information” as being valuable on their own.
People are now able to look at different pieces of information,
eventually trusting themselves in the final analysis, to contribute to
a broad understanding of the world. They understand that knowledge
isn’t just accumulated information. And they exercise critical
thinking. Yes, there’s such a thing beyond the buzzword. Hopefully,
journalists, marketers, financiers, and politicians will give
<bold>people</bold> (Actual Human Beings) more ways to exercise this
type of thinking.
It might just be an extension of the relationship between Gutenberg
and Reformation: devotees are now allowed to read the texts and don’t
depend on a higher authority to determine the “value of information”
presented to them.
Does this all make sense? In my head it does. At least, the little
voice says that it all makes sense… 😉