I have been reading Sherry Turkles book Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet. The ironic thing is that it was written in 1995 before the Web really took off and became mainstream. I am going to finish it over my retreat. So far she has gotten me to reflect on the nature of our relationship to machines and how children growing up relate to machines. She has been studying their interaction with them over several decades and in different cultural contexts. I am reminded her work when reading Internet 2.0: the economic, social and cultural consequences of the new Internet
There are 4 levels to this model.
Disintermediation, Long Tail – which are concepts in wide circulation already. When it gets interesting is around Reformation and Continuous Presence.
The Internet is a reformation machine. It will create new fundamentals of and for our world. It change the units of analysis and the relationships between them
I think it does a good job of articulating the challenge to the ‘shape’ of our cultural dynamic.
The reformation model says fundamental categories of our culture (particularly the self and the group and the terms with which we think about them) are changing…. This is a change in the basic terms of reference, the very internal blue print with which we understand and construct the world.
One way to assess innovations is to make a guess about where we are headed. I think our economic, social and cultural destination might be this: we will be continuously connected to all knowledge and all people with a minimum of friction, and priviledge will be measured, in part, by how good are the filters with which we make contact with all but only the people and knowledge we care about.