In Which The Trend-Resister Is Shown Up

When I first saw pointers to Michael Wesch’sWeb 2.0. . . The Machine Is Us/ing Us” video, I put off looking at it. The “Web 2.0” tag deterred me, and its trendy allure provoked my “I don’t need to see that” reflex. I was very wrong.

The video is terrific, suggestive (not in that way!), and it strikes me as very sound. I was especially impressed by the concluding section:

    We’ll need to rethink a few things.
    We’ll need to rethink copyright
    We’ll need to rethink authorship
    We’ll need to rethink identity
    We’ll need to rethink ethics
    We’ll need to rethink aesthetics
    We’ll need to rethink rhetorics
    We’ll need to rethink governance
    We’ll need to rethink privacy
    We’ll need to rethink commerce
    We’ll need to rethink love
    We’ll need to rethink family
    We’ll need to rethink ourselves

Well, that bit about family and love aren’t necessarily of the same order as the others, but the far-reaching changes in other fields will inevitably impinge on family and love, so I acknowledge even those two.

That video arrives at the same time Steve Jobs says DRM should go by the boards. Micah asked me what I think about that, and I respond that Jobs is manifestly disingenuous and self-serving on a number of levels (to start with, the iTunes Music Store still imposes DRM on music selections whose performers ask that they be sold without such restrictions)— but that nonetheless, he’s right. Others (who don’t have executive authority over the biggest legit distribution system for downloading music online) have said as much before, but it does make a difference when Jobs says it. If you drop the DRM and price appropriately, volume will more than make up for what you lose on file-sharing. Way more. Way, way more.

Claude says:

Your “The Web 2.0″ tag deterred me” amused me, because how to call “it” is one point on which we have agreed to disagree in a work group for the promotion of “its” knowledge and use in Southern Switzerland, which I am member of. “We Media”? “Read/Write Web”? “Web 2.0”? For the time being the group is labelled “Noi Media”, in reference to “We Media”, but also because “noimedia” was a widely available user name in the web-based applications that are part of “it”. And your remarks on Michael Wesh’s video and Steve Jobs’ declaration are really acute.
By the way, I mentioned your blog as a source in the post about Wesch’s video in the work group’s blog. See

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *