The Corner

Everything Old Is New Again

The web is a 19th century phenomenon , baby. From me:

My conservative instinct says there’s really nothing new under the sun. Technology almost by definition is developed to solve problems (necessity, recall, is invention’s mommy). But, as conservative philosophy teaches us, the “problems” of the human condition are permanent. So while technology is ever changing, the human desires we try to satisfy with technology remain constant. For example, every innovation in mass media has been a boon to the porn industry. You can be sure that when we finally create holographic technology, it’ll be put to good triple-X use long before we have a chance to see “Hamlet” in digital 3-D.

 Boosters of the brave new World Wide Web and mourners of “traditional” media alike share a common view that the way the news media has operated over the last half a century is the “normal” way. Both sides think the Internet is more unprecedented and revolutionary than it is. In reality, the crumbling status quo was always an aberration.

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