“If we stop seeing information as chunks of stuff, as items fixed in size, then we may reach some understanding…”
I read the post. The excerpt above was important to the conclusion, but not the most important aspect to me. Instead, the intermediate points, like this, resonated, were most relevant to me:
What does it mean that people seem to cheer about the rise in “digital abundance” while at the same time they shrug off the massive decay in natural and cultural diversity?
Since my recent comments on corporate and university blogs have not always been published, I’ll reproduce what I wrote, here, just in case.
Don’t read what I wrote… No, that is ridiculous! Please read what I wrote, if you have the time or inclination. Please be aware that it will make more sense after reading the original post, Information Culture via the eerily Second Life-evocative Wordpress blog of simsa0, see above for the URL.
Traffic management using dynamic systems models and performance optimization was developed theoretically, and has been implemented in many large cities, globally, for at least 30 years. I learned about it as part of my master’s degree in Operations Research. Civil engineers implement it. IBM Smarter Cities is a response to what this post (very astutely) describes as data fetishization. IBM supported urban planners and engineers for decades, affordably, quietly and reliably. No one was especially interested then. Now, there is exaltation of data and systems, even by those without the corresponding skill sets to use them. (There are other important roles in society; we do NOT need masses of “data scientists”). Also missing now is acknowledgement that human-friendly infrastructure and safety is the primary concern, an order of magnitude ahead of urban efficiency and profit. That’s why we had regulations and certification requirements, years spent studying, memorizing, preparing for low likelihood but highly adverse scenarios. It was deemed worthwhile.
As for the conjecture that Slow Food, Slow Reading, Slow Banking will be movements of an affluent middle class, I think that is too optimistic. Instead, they are more likely to be indulgences of the very, very wealthy. Society is stratifying into the old, pre-Enlightenment, pre-Reformation arrangement, i.e. feudal lords/ landed gentry versus The Masses, also known as serfs.
I could say more, but have said too much already. This post is well written. Thank you.
Despite my fear, I laughed when I read this, as it so true!
… that Man is irrelevant to Nature’s well-being. We find this sentiment in every variety of environmentalism of the last 20 years (before then, the level of critical thinking was more advanced). It states that Nature will survive Man even when he is gone, and that any negative treatment of Nature by Man will… be of no…consequence for Nature. Nature / World will be without Man, but at least it will still be one, finding its own ways to balance & equilibrium.
It is important to see that this typical western view… is not shared in any other culture that isn’t hooked on industrialized Capitalism. In fact, in most indigenous world-views, Man plays a vital role for the well-being of Nature…
Please, tell me, what can we do? I want this, I want to see
the doors open again, for gratitude and joy.