Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Printing Press In Another Form

Things were suspended in time and space – briefly.

Some nut had figured out how to un-employ a lot of monks.

He had invented a thing that printed pages of what were to be known in the future as “type”; instead of books being copied, beautiful character, by beautiful character: whole pages were printed en masse.

An interesting idea, most thought.

But before long the bible was being “printed” in volume.

The economics of mass production made it possible to “sell” this thing at a price that a lot of people could afford.

And a whole generation of Europeans, even the British, got to read the book that they had for centuries had depended upon the priests to tell them what the book meant.

They all found that the book told them that the priests had been lying.

And a thousand years of theocracy fell in almost no time at all.

Enter the internet.

It made the world everybody’s storage medium.

I can recall telling people “the world is my disk drive”.

The internet was supposed to have democratized thought and made the best of human ideas ubiquitously available to everyone.

The devil was in the details: thought and ideas have many shapes and forms.

That has been the problem.

We now have alternate facts, fake news, donnie the dildo and Mitch McConnell.

To mention the most obvious of those problems.

And, I think we are only at the very leading edge of the era of negotiable reality.

And, just like Gutenberg, the Internet folks had our best interests in mind.

It took a couple of centuries to stop Europeans killing one another for religious reasons.

Then we had seventy years of just seeing who was strongest: that cost millions and millions of lives, and even dragged in Asian lives in the millions.

If you haven’t read an account of the “survivors” of Hiroshima in the first few post Enola Gay hours, you haven’t read any really good horror recently.

The fact – I believe it to be a fact – that we are only just beginning to pay the price for making it possible for anyone to publish his ideas is quite disheartening.

Gutenberg had the bible.

Cyber Folk have hate, lies. fear and doubt.

How nice.

No comments:

Post a Comment