…not so long ago when one could say what one thought online. Create a “blog” (then, it was a “diary” or even just a “personal page”) and put on it anything and everything that you thought, did, felt, wanted, hated, needed, avoided.
Now, of course, this doesn’t exist. Whatever you post will take the food out of your childrens’ mouths. Whatever you post will kill someone, maim someone, hurt a cause, enable a cause, destroy your future career.
I miss the early web. I miss the 1980s technology.
Apropos of my dissertation, there are certainly gains related to the embodiment of technology that has increasingly occurred in recent years, but there are also losses. Chief amongst these is the distinctiveness and separateness of technoculture. In a very real way, the integration of technology into everyday mainstream life has been a process concerned with the “un-othering” of technology through technological means, on a research-based, sociological basis. Hence the “social turn” in technology.
But what is less often acknowledged is the fact that the quest to integrate technology into extant and dominant cultures meant that the distinctive culture of technology that had come to exist would gradually be eviscerated, emptied of content and members. And that is, frankly, a tragic loss.
Because these were the best people and—if I may—the best culture around.