ruminations about architecture and design

Thursday, December 9, 2010

thoughts on wikileaks and the idea of the internet

I realize that by commenting on this issue I will never get a job in the U.S. State Department. So it goes. The official reaction has been predictable and deplorable, and demonstrates a rather dim knowledge of how the information age actually works. Julian Assange is merely a convenient symptom of a phenomenon that is inevitable barring nuclear war and large power failures. I wonder if the guys who put together DARPAnet had any idea that random idiots like me would be able to post online journals with pirated images. Of course, I still need food and running water and a roof over my head, but those things are so far down the list on Maslow's hierarchy that most people don't even think about them anymore. The opportunity for self-actualization is what it is all about.
I digress. The Web is still in its infancy. I have trouble seeing how anyone who is in the hard information business will be able produce conventional media in the near future. The temptation for instantaneous and continuous editing will make the very concept of publishing dates, editions and timelines obsolete. Forensic information gathering will fall into the domain of sophisticated computer algorithms. Human judgment will be more appropriately reserved for arbitrary decision making and architectural flourishes. Just like the late 1500s.

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