Tag: media

Living in the Echo

I am beginning to fear nostalgia.

This is, I must confess, a new fear. For most of my life, nostalgia was nothing more than a harmless distraction. When invoked, nostalgia became a sort of glorified remembrance of the past that felt both quaint and mildly silly. It may have been a bit maudlin at times, or—when pushed to its extremes—obnoxious and ignorant. It was never frightening, though. That has changed.

I should say this is not a veiled complaint about “nostalgia porn” (although I suppose it could be looked at that way) nor is it a rant about the massive amount of media surrounding nostalgia. We are not drowning in nostalgia, now, anymore than we have been. Which is, of course, to say that we have always been drowning in nostalgia. Our obsession with it is not really a surprise. Time, for now, is a one way journey. We can never return to the moments that came before. We are, in a way, explorers traveling further and further away from a home that we will never find again. Yet, we know this past. We remember it, and it remembers us. The past is what makes us, so it …


The One Channel Problem

I read Alexis C. Madrigal’s article on the Atlantic: “Google and Facebook Failed Us” and it got me thinking.

There is a structural problem with the Internet, and I think it is something we still haven’t fully come to understand or grasp. It is the only point of distribution and communication for a large portion of our social, economic, and technological existence. We don’t live in a democratized online space, switching back and forth between different communication streams, we live permanently attached to a single, massive, Network 23.

We do everything through Network 23. We watch our news and our entertainment. We order food, talk to our doctors and even arrange our medical care. We do our banking and we work all on Network 23. Our social interactions, our art, our culture, even our government and our forms of activism, have all been migrated to this giant network, and because we see all of these things as separate entities we think that they are part of different communications structures. At a very core level, though, they are not.

The reality is that Google and Facebook are just two shows on this network. They’re the biggest. They …


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