Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Brin: Infinite Stupidity

Expand Messages
  • Nick Arnett
    ... I had the same reaction - absolutely true. What changed 500 years ago when the printing press had the kind of effect we re seeing today was that
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 19, 2011
    • 0 Attachment
      On Sat, Dec 17, 2011 at 10:34 AM, David Brin <dbrin@...> wrote:
      Alas, Pagel spins a just-so story that is conveniently and charmingly free of reference to historical facts. For example, he ignores the fact that innovation sped up, intensely and supra-liearly, as the number of individuals in a society increased. Agrarian clans and then kingdoms allocated surplus food to specialists, rewarding them for talent and expertise, sometimes in accurate correlation to their effectiveness at innovation. 

      I had the same reaction - absolutely true.  What changed 500 years ago when the printing press had the kind of effect we're seeing today was that innovation was stimulated by access to new, diverse points of view.  The more sources you have, the more points of view become available, even though the vast majority of people will "copy," as he says, others. Even if the vast majority of people never pay attention to more than one POV (e.g., only believe Faux News), if only a small percentage are stimulated by access to a variety, that has always stimulated creativity and development.  Innovation is driven by curiosity, which in turn is fueled by cheap distribution of diverse viewpoints and ideas.  It doesn't matter if the vast majority isn't curious or innovative, it only takes a few.

      Nick
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.