Monday, January 19, 2015

The Internet has spawned a latter-day Industrial Revolution

Why is it so much harder to make a living these days? Especially if you're a writer, a musician, a photographer, a visual artist. . . .
We all know why: the Internet. Everything we once got paid to create is now available for free. OK, that's an exaggeration. But I do like this book by Andrew Keen. We may have heard his message before. But in The Internet is Not the Answer, Keen describes the new reality with striking clarity. Today's digital upheaval is a latter-day industrial revolution. Internet behemoths like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google exist to create wealth for their founders. Those founders are far, far richer than the robber barons of yore. But here's a surprise: the answer to the Internet juggernaut, Keen writes, "is history." Only through the lens of 19th- and 20th-century history can we "make sense of the impact of the Internet on 21st century society." The past makes the present legible, and offers "the most effective antidote to the libertarian utopianism of Internet evangelists." There's lots more where that came from. Check it out.
 
 

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