Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The way we live now

Back, I hope, to the regular blogging schedule of Tuesdays and Thursdays.

On this Tuesday, I think it's worth contemplating the words of Cathy Davidson on the HASTAC blog, in response to Bill Keller's fears about Twitter and the human soul:

We are fifteen years into the commercialization of the Internet. We have all made tremendous adjustments to these new forms of technology and social media. I don't know about you but I do not need a new "study" to tell me my life has been changed by email, texting, blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, Wikipedia, eBay, Amazon.com, my iPad, my Blackberry, and on and on and on. It's NOT the Technology , Stupid! I hear James Carville shouting. It's about all of the ways life is changing and how technology facilitates, reshapes, redistributes the everyday patterns, facts, and habits of life. And it is about us figuring out the best ways to live given these rapid and continuing changes.

I agree that it's time to dispense with laments for the Before Time. This technology stuff is here to stay, and many of us--the relatively privileged, anyway--are now living a good chunk of our lives in the cloud. If that's an expression of a collective soul, we have the opportunity, and obligation, to discover its proper care and feeding. If the soul--the Internet--is dumb, we can make it less so by reading and writing better stuff. If the soul is vicious, we can make it kinder. And so forth. The message is the medium.

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