Digital Secession: Catch the Wave!

Alvin Toffler predicted much of this in his book the Third Wave, and it's finally coming to fruition.
The rolling back of the Industrial-Era creed of "standardization", as exemplified in the one-size-fits-all approach typical of institutions of this era, such as the education system, factories, governments, mass media, high volume mass production and distribution, etc.

The attack on the nation-state from above and below and progressive obsolescence of the nation-state itself.

The assault on the nation-state from below would include both the gradual loss of consensus, such as has characterized the politics of the United States in the 21st century, as well as political turmoil in China (largely split amongst urban-rural lines), Israel (orthodox vs. secular), the Islamic world (fundamentalist or traditional vs. secular) and elsewhere. It would include the rise of regional interests and the progressive devolution of the nation-state itself; e.g. the autonomization of Wales and Scotland in Britain; of Nunavut and Canada; the frequent incidence of separatist movements, the dissolution of Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, the USSR, Ethiopia, the emergence of microstates, such as East Timor.

The assault on the nation-state from above would include the rise of powerful non-national entities: IGO's, multinational corporations, religions with global reach, and even terrorist organizations or cartels. It would include the progressive hemming-in of national economies and of nation-states under a growing network of super-national organizations and affiliations; e.g. the European Union, the North American Union, the newly formed African Union, as well as organizations such as the WTO, NAFTA or International Criminal Court.

The eclipsing of monetary wealth by knowledge and information as the primary determinant of power and its distribution. This was also discussed more fully in the sequel Powershift.

The eclipsing of manufacturing and manufacturing goods by knowledge-production and information-processing as the primary economic activity.

Buzzfeed: What Comes After The Social Media Empires
Nobody thinks Facebook, YouTube, and the like are going away. But now, it’s becoming clear that they can’t replace the whole internet either, as once seemed their destiny — and, indeed, that no executive in their right mind would want to swallow it whole.

And so for the first time in years, there are viable new social networks being born on the margins, and the great questions have to do with what comes next.
Declining social mood and the inevitable logic of the technology. Being a one-size fits all platform on the Internet makes sense if it is a very neutral product, but any site based on advertising will run into trouble because someone will be offended by something in this day and age. Platforms could ignore various outrage cycles and survive, but for whatever reason they seem very prone to infiltration and political subversion, eventually turning off a massive portion of their audience.
When a dreamer alienated by the big social networks would start a new one, the internet would make fun of them for a while and then let the thing die in peace. In my own case, I’d occasionally get tricked into having a cup of coffee with someone who thought BuzzFeed should see itself as a competitor to Facebook or Twitter, and I’d feel like the politician whose constituent concern turns out to be chemtrails, and would politely extricate myself from a conversation with the lunatic.

But Switter, Gab, and the guntubes are green shoots and leaves. There are big forces pushing us toward fragmentation. These are not attempts to take over but instead to carve out an independent territory. And, as Mike Cernovich wrote recently, “several high consciousness people I’ve spoken to independently told me they felt a shift in energy.”

...In all seriousness, the times have changed, mostly because the platforms’ advertising business forces have changed. Massive scale turns out to have special disadvantages. Bad actors take advantage of that scale, bringing associated bad optics and regulatory scrutiny. And when that crosses over into, for instance, Sinhalese or child exploitation videos — forget about it.

So the toxic politics, the controversy, the edge are all bad for business. And meanwhile, the forces of fragmentation in tech and the culture have opened new doors for small new rivals.

No comments:

Post a Comment