Monday, 21 January 2013

Social media are remaking human nature

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'''On or about December 1910 human character changed.'' 

Virginia Woolf's famous remark referred to an exhibition called ''Manet and the Post-Impressionists'', in which Roger Fry introduced modernist painting to England. How very much more has human nature been changed by the internet.

Modernism was always about finding a way to shock the bourgeoisie and keep high culture in the hands of a progressive elite. The internet will have a very different effect, of taking power away from the progressive elite.

The democratic deficit in Eastern (and Western) Europe will not be rectified by the EU but it will I hope be by by Facebook and Twitter. This is how corrupt cliques and corrupt media can be outwitted and undermined. Elites on both halves of the Continent have landed their populations in a big mess and I hope now ordinary people can try to take power back from them, starting in Romania.


This article in The Irish Times, which I found thanks to twitter naturally, really is worth reading.

The internet should also I hope make most universities redundant. What they do can be done better on the net allowing people from all classes and social groups to benefit from free education, which at present is too often a means of creating hierarchies of well paid people. We have not yet thought about the consequences of the net and have no idea what vast social and philosophical changes the internet will bring. Historians are of no use here, because history can only be written backwards but has to be made forwards.  

1 comment:

  1. " The internet should also I hope make most universities redundant. What they do can be done better on the net allowing people from all classes and social groups to benefit from free education, which at present is too often a means of creating hierarchies of well paid people."
    Yes! Agreed.
    -Joel

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