I stumbled across a blogpost I made in 2007 that talks about the shared space that was Kinko's when that type of business (use of copiers, computers, paper cutters, staplers) began. That was sort of the beginning of what we have with the internet - and which is not a brand new thing, just a brand new (global) scale for an old thing.
I feel more hopeful in a way, now, as it seems we approach a tipping point with our sharing and shared memories and lessening of individuality. We may all be us, and there will be no them. People won't try to change - they won't do things that require effort. What will happen is that the sharedness, the us-ness, will become like the air surrounding us, and without effort or thought there will be a new way of thinking about one's place in the world.
Listening to, at the MMIF last night, the Nigerian filmmaker whose film addresses political issues he said could get him arrested, made me think about the degree of interaction ordinary people can have, and how much to the status quo's advantage it is to keep that from happening.
A-R in 2007 -
"It's a bifurcated path. One side fosters anything but a global village - more like techno-haves being able to ignore reality. The other side of the split is the techno-haves frothing madly with youtube and facebook and twitter and craigslist and google - which is nice to see and something that I first saw happening with copy shops like Kinko's that encouraged people to hang out and make things. All of a sudden, I could go and to do SOMETHING (making xeroxes of weird objects for handbound books was one little project) and when I walked in the shop was jam-packed with people doing hobby group newsletters, geneological whatsits, making stationary, copying blueprints - I don't know. I was jazzed to see lots of people immersed in their chosen projects and working side by side in a creative zone.
That part in the history of technology was a brief time as soon afterwards it became normal to have most of the tools at home - no need to go to the shared space. I'm not social at all but even I enjoyed being part of that busy mass. In a way there's still a busy mass but it's a disembodied mass. MM said, "When you are on the phone or on the air, you have no body."
There's techno-havenots - and if something happens to cut off the trizzities and still the automobiles they will probably take over since much of the old survival knowledge has not been passed on in the techno-have clans. Who knows. It's a familiar plot of science fiction - the split in humanity with one elite segment* separate from or ruling over the masses.
It would be too sad if the elite turned out to be grotty us with no flying cars and no plugging in our brains to gain the knowledge of the world painlessly in 35 minutes and no immortality. What if this is the split and we're as high as the elite gets before Things Happen and anyone with the ability to grow a turnip, kill a chicken, and suffer toothache swoops in to inherit the earth?"
posted by - 5:34 PM