‘Utopia is Creepy’

I’m backing our government in the current face-off with Facebook. Zuckerberg thought he could teach Australia a lesson by turning off his platform’s links to newsfeeds, in protest at new media legislation. But I reckon he’s miscalculated, and the repercussions will have unintended, negative consequences on his business (model). The company slogan, ‘Move fast and break things’, may just bite him on the bum this time!

Utopia is Creepy – And Other Provocations is a 2016 book by Nicholas Carr, which I haven’t yet read, but I tucked away this quote about the internet from a review – to add to our endless smorgasbord of ‘food for thought’: 

“The network would indeed generate a lot of wealth, but it would be wealth of the Adam Smith sort – and it would be concentrated in a few hands, not widely spread. 

The culture that emerged on the network, and that now extends deep into our lives and psyches, is characterised by frenetic production and consumption – smartphones have made media machines of us all – but little real empowerment and even less reflectiveness. It’s a culture of distraction and dependency. 

That’s not to deny the benefits of having easy access to an efficient, universal system of information exchange. It is to deny the mythology that shrouds the system. And it is to deny the assumption that the system, in order to provide its benefits, had to take its present form.”

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