Friday, August 5, 2005

"Technology Undermining the Gatekeepers"

Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, links to a video teaser for a documentary about blogging, in which Reynolds himself says something that's very revealing -- about him.

He says that blogging is an example of "technology undermining the gatekeepers," which is undeniable. But then he said, "this goes back to CB radios in the 1970s."

What?

I love Instapundit, and I agree with Glenn Reynolds on a lot of things. But sometimes his lack of a historical sense is just astounding. Hasn't he heard of the invention of movable type and the Gutenberg Bible?

Well, of course he's heard of them. But I think it's telling that the all-time technology-trumps-gatekeeping event* of Western Civilization didn't pop into his mind in this context.

If he read more history and less science fiction, I think he'd be less susceptible to the kind of goofy futurism he often professes.

Of couse, his blog has had more than 100,000,000 hits and mine . . . oh well. Maybe I should read more science fiction.

*For that matter, the invention of writing -- the first asynchronous communication technology -- must have seriously undermined the gatekeeping power of the preservers of oral traditions.

3 comments:

Laurie said...

I see your point, but I have to admit that I was reminded of the CB craze recently when mulling over the explosion of personal blogs. There are an awful lot of similarities.

My handle was "Diamond Girl," by the way. I've come a long way to the simple living philosophy!

Joe Guarino said...

David -- Your posts were missed when your high-intensity summer class was in progress. Glad to see you are back.

David Wharton said...

Thank you, Joe! It's nice to be missed.

Laurie, we did the CB thing, too, and you're right about the similarities.

But there are also similarities to Revolutionary War pamphleteers with printing presses in their cellars . . . etc.