New media are eradicating the (practical) idea of a common culture. Everything print media integrated, by universalizing literacy, is now being disintegrated into bubbles. It’s bound to be an upsetting development, from certain perspectives:
Another tech trend fueling this issue is the ability to publish ideas online at no cost, and to gather an audience around those ideas. It’s now easier than ever to produce content specifically designed to convince people who may be on the fence or “curious” about a particular topic. This is an especially big issue when it comes to violent extremism, and pseudoscience. Self-publishing has eliminated all the checks and balances of reputable media ― fact-checkers, editors, distribution partners.
It turns out that ‘trusted’ cultural curators aren’t actually trusted much at all. When their reputations are — for the first time — put to the test, they crumble to nothing very fast.
The fission of authorized ‘common purposes’ into meme wars certainly isn’t going to be welcomed by everybody. Nothing is going to be welcomed by everybody. Fragmentation is now the driver, so it isn’t (at all) likely to be stopped.
Rule-of-thumb for any techno-propelled regime transition: What the existing establishment hates and fears most is the already-palpable threat, whose arrival is as close to inevitable as history allows anything to be. (Completely inevitable, in the opinion of this blog, but no one is under any compulsion to follow us there.)