History always repeats
When the Internet first became available to ordinary users back in the early 1990s, cyber Utopians touted it as a means to our “liberation from the tyranny of large media corporations and governments”, much like how the hippies in the 1960s believed that love, smoking pot, long hair, wearing tie dyes and rock music would herald world peace and the brotherhood (and sisterhood) of humankind.
It is no different from the belief that the advent of the printing press empowered mankind to speak truth to power. But today we often hear complaints and lamentations about how mass media is controlled by fewer and fewer more powerful hands.
Sure, many people like myself no longer read mainstream media or watch TV these days but rather turn to the Internet and blogs for our news and information and many mainstream newspapers have declining circulation, readership and shrinking advertising dollars – but are the powers that be which rule over us, any less powerful?
Do they listen to us or do they just let us bark our heads off online, whilst they quite literally fart in our faces and carry on with business as usual?
Well, now things have come full circle and writers for publications like Common Dreams are complaining about how Facebook is dominating the Internet and acting as a gateway for media organisations which partner with it. So it’s the same old story now as with the printing press and broadcast media, especially in the west, which has long been in the hands of the few big and powerful interests.
Welcome to the real world folks, as we look right in the face of a cruel reality not foretold by paperback writers who held starry eyed idealists in awe whilst opportunistic management “CON-sultants” think about how to make money from the numerous paying butts warming seminar seats.
As long as the “sun” shines, until the penny drops and their old assumptions are debunked by reality, and until the next hot sounding management buzzword or fad comes along, the hype, hoo-hah, bullshit and ballyhoo rolls on and on as old wine in new bottles.
IT BYTES BACK! says: We hype and hoo-hah over any technology under the sun, as long as it’s sexy enough to grab attention of the masses. And then these technologies, come back and bite us in the a$$es. And we let them.
When will we ever learn?