Nobody really cares for the Internet--except...people who can't sleep and need something to do. It has created an undisciplined culture of slothfulness and foolishness that's now a culture of despair.
October 16, 2000 11:15 AM   Subscribe

Nobody really cares for the Internet--except...people who can't sleep and need something to do. It has created an undisciplined culture of slothfulness and foolishness that's now a culture of despair. That's James Cramer, erstwhile CEO of TheStreet.com going off in a Fortune.com interview. Granted, his own problems on the Net have been documented ad nauseum, but is there a bit of truth in what he says? .
posted by BoyCaught (10 comments total)
 
You could say somethings similar about trading: that it's created an undisciplined culture of greed and foolishness, that's now... a culture of despair.

After all, Cramer doesn't seem to have a life that extends beyond the blips of the stock chart.
posted by holgate at 11:40 AM on October 16, 2000


It also sounds like sour grapes. If thestreet.com was still on top, we'd be hearing a different tune. Waaah.
posted by ethmar at 11:47 AM on October 16, 2000


Cramer is (and always has been) a boring twit. IMHO, he's the personification of everything that's wrong with professional pundits.

The only reason we're hearing about him any more is that he's finally discovered the Berst Maneuver -- take an absurd position and wait for the flames & page-views to roll in. I wonder how long it'll be before he figures out the Dvorak Gambit....
posted by aramaic at 12:06 PM on October 16, 2000


My thesis was on the Dvorak Gambit.
posted by skallas at 12:24 PM on October 16, 2000


The bathos of his comment is striking -- almost deliciously self-serving. I hope it was cathartic for him. I certainly enjoyed it. Broad statements often have a good fallacy-to-comedy ratio.
posted by highindustrial at 12:52 PM on October 16, 2000


uhh - why exactly did the government "ask" him not to run the company? i'm missing something...
posted by subpixel at 1:53 PM on October 16, 2000


Actually, now that I read the piece...

[chides self for posting on exerpted quotations...]

You know, there was a period where there was tremendous value to doing something different on the Web. But now all of it looks the same, equally tiresome. The technology has stalled, and the look and feel have stalled. It's just not that interesting. The Internet won't be embraced correctly until our children take over. I hope to live to see that.

And I can kind of go with that. From personal experience, the moment that the "vision-thing" stops expanding is precisely the moment that money becomes an issue. It's partly the reason why browsers haven't evolved towards standards-support, and it's undoubtedly the reason why the corporate face of the web is basically stuck in 3.0 land.

I'd guess that Cramer doesn't have time to check out the fringe stuff, the k10ks and the like, but again, when you're in it to make money, you often lose a sense of what's happening at the edges of the technology. When he says "the Web", he most likely means "web journalism" and "web finance": two areas which seem bound to the conservatism of old media. The avant-garde isn't helpful when you're establishing a business. That said, if you look at the stuff he does on RealMoney, it's not that far away from being a blog.

He's right: the people to embrace the technology and take it forwards are those who grow into it: the teenagers who regard ICQ as a natural extension of their social circle, the kids who dream in XHTML.
posted by holgate at 2:11 PM on October 16, 2000


Frankly, I thought the plot of the Dvorak Gambit sucked.

I think it's safe to say that Cramer is in burnout mode. "Next project: coaching fifth grade soccer." Why not just move to Fiji and call it a day?
posted by dhartung at 3:59 PM on October 16, 2000


Holgate,

Your last point sums it up. Teenagers will push the internet. They have adapted to technology in their day to day lives. They are in constant contact with each other through cell phones and WAPs are going to be assimilated next.
posted by john at 4:01 PM on October 16, 2000


Two words: Sour. Grapes.

Every time I read a piece by Cramer, it always seems to be obvious observation mired in bitterness.

Of course new technology can take a generation to be fully embraced and integrated. That's no reason to denigrate its current state. Geeze. Lighten up.
posted by slush at 2:32 PM on November 29, 2000


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