Is the Revolution really over?
October 24, 2000 6:55 PM   Subscribe

Is the Revolution really over? According to Wired it is, “…one day, the digital revolution was over. The big media companies wrested control of the Internet from the kids in the horned-rimmed glasses.” Derek has his comments on this but to add my own, nothing new and exciting happens anymore.

The Internet has become synonymous for pink slips, mergers, and legal battles.

I know there was a previous link to this article but I was inspired by Derek to bring a different matter to the table.
posted by Brilliantcrank (11 comments total)

Every revolution gets co-opted eventually. If you're lucky, a quarter of what you dreamed will actually get implemented before the money-people realize you're pulling the rug out from under them and stop you.

Then you just start looking for a new revolution.

posted by Mars Saxman at 7:16 PM on October 24, 2000

That's right, money rules the world.
posted by Zool at 7:31 PM on October 24, 2000

There never was a revolution in the first place. Wired were always about talking up their own importance. However, things have changed. The nature of that change may be more of a return to original human values (i.e. hunter gatherer rather than farm worker) but computers have made it happen.
Q: are there any corporate whores controlling this website? Or any of my web presences? Or any of yours?
posted by davidgentle at 7:56 PM on October 24, 2000

Yes there are. Australia has the slowest pickup of broadband technology because of corporate whores. I've found this problem not only for home use, but with the company i currently work for. We have a 350k Frame Relay connection ( guaranteed 256k ), but because of corporate whores ( Telstra ), we could not, and never will, get our HDSL 2mb connection like we were hoping.

The Frame is much more expensive.
posted by Zool at 8:15 PM on October 24, 2000

There has been a revolution.

10 years ago I doubt you would have found a place as unique as the Internet is today. Before the Internet, I never corresponded or discussed topics with anyone outside the United States. Aside from pen-pal lists who would I talk to? And before the popular Internet, it was not possible for me to freely distribute information around the world, via my web site or a place such as Meta Filter.

Governments have not been overthrown. Some laws and policies have been altered but the world has changed because of the Internet. And I think the world revolution is appropriate.

Corporate whores may not control everything but they, along with the exchange markets, have definitely had a strong influence in the current tone.
posted by Brilliantcrank at 8:25 PM on October 24, 2000

revolution not over

majority still not online: India, Africa, Asia

application evolution constrained by bandwidth limitations.

posted by stbalbach at 1:25 AM on October 25, 2000

This conversation, right here, right now, is all the proof I need that the revolution was real, and is continuing.
posted by fraying at 10:02 AM on October 25, 2000

The revolution will not be published in Wired either.
posted by harmful at 10:31 AM on October 25, 2000

just because corporate news outlets only pay attention to commerical ventures doesn't mean that's all that's out there. the 'revolution' of the internet is in wresting the means of production and distribution out of the corporate hands and into the individual's. look at the media coverage of the olympics - nbc totally sucked because they were completely unprepared to handle it properly. in fact, the only thing they handled with an ounce of timeliness was in shutting down other sites broadcasting quality content; and, the only sites I heard of being shut down were other news sites (feel free to correct me on that one). i think you're going to see that's it's going to get harder and harder to shut people down in broadcasting, especially when it becomes an individual broadcasting not for commercial gain, but just for the pleasure of it. therein lies the revolution still to come; and the revolution is only over when you personally decide it's over.
posted by bliss322 at 11:10 AM on October 25, 2000

For those of you that continue to associate Wired News (or Hotwired) with Wired magazine, this letter from Louis should draw out the differences.
Those damn copy editors with their heads up their Websters!
From LOUIS ROSSETTO, co-founder, Wired Magazine

(MediaNews was one of 11 recipients of this e-mail.) Sigh. The regime changes, can revisionism be far behind? As Connie and Jessie and all the people who worked on it can attest, Wired Style was not about enshrining "the language of the elite addressing the proletariat." If anything, it was the opposite. The "geeks, wonks and assorted journalistic gearheads" who Long writes so condescendingly about, were far from the elite, they were the rabble banging at the gates of the then media and literary establishment.

But Wired Style was not even about their language -- it was about the language that the great unwashed of the Net used in daily communication, in forums, news groups, mailing lists, newsletters, and email (yes, without the hyphen) which was, and still is, the greatest flowering of written communication probably since the invention of the alphabet. This was the language we were trying to capture and celebrate, the living language of evolving global consciousness.

And I just love the faux-historicism -- Long's reactionary oath to use the language "as God and Noah Webster intended." I have found the resort to tradition is often the last refuge of the deeply prejudiced. Long doesn't like the jargon of the Digital Age apparently because "It comes from the engineering quad, the programmers' warren and, perhaps worst of all, from the sales-and-marketing department."

Like, is something wrong with that? Are engineers, programmers, and marketers -- the people who actually make and sell the stuff that Wired News writes about, and probably form the core of its audience -- some species of subhuman, less worthy to make the language theirs than the cultural elite?

Evidence of their crime? Why, according to Long, the actual, tasteless jargon itself: "These are fingernails-on-the-blackboard words, real shiver-up-the-spine stuff: 'functionality,' 'implementation,' 'bleeding edge,' 'leverage,' 'next-generation,' 'monetize,' 'mission critical.'

You can almost see the language curling into a fetal position to await the deathblow. 'Monetize,' for crying out loud."

For crying out loud? Think about that bit of jargon. How is "for crying out loud" better jargon than "monetize?" Because it was coined by some cartoonist by the name of Thomas Aloysius Dorgan in the early 20th century, and now has the respectability of a century of usage? Well, hot dog! (Dorgan also coined that expression.)

We created Wired precisely because of this kind of elitist bias against "geeks, wonks and assorted journalistic gearheads." And we created Wired Style not to talk to the gearheads, but to condescending copyeditors who (apparently still) have their heads up their Websters.

You probably know it, but Noah Webster did not create his dictionary in order to codify spelling. Indeed, at the time, there was no "correct" way of spelling, there was just how people in their individual and practical wisdom translated spoken English into the written word. And that spelling was spectacularly and democratically varied. Webster's was one take on that spelling. It was only later that the anal retentive took Webster's attempt to collect definitions as an excuse to wrap the knuckles of people who deviated from "correct" spelling.

And finally, of course, this is about the Revolution eating its young: Lycos takes over Wired News, should we be surprised that, sooner or later, corporate thinking takes over the copy desk at Wired News? Oh well, there's always slashdot.
Originally from Medianews letters, but gradually slipping down the page.
posted by waxpancake at 11:19 AM on October 25, 2000

Revolution, schmevolution.

First of all, Wired constantly frightens me with its ga-ga beer goggles about technology. "Technology will save us all, and if you DARE to question its use, you are a neo-Luddite still banging stones together trying to start a fire!!!" Okay, guys, take your meds and settle down. Just because some moron implanted a chip in his arm doesn't mean we're all joining your World Hive, okay? Let's worry about this food/air deal before our new robotic limbs.

But like every other technology, the cheerleaders always look foolish in the end. The predictions the early adopters make, the faith-laden hope that this will be the Magic Pill that cures all the world's ills, will inevitably be tossed aside. Utopia will never happen because someone built something nifty.

I like the Internet, but it's just another medium. I like its openness, but it's not going to change the world. People will change the world, not technology. It's cool and all, but only as cool as people make it.

And all technology inevitably serves a profit motive.

And that's my sweeping generalization for the day! Thank you!

Nader Nader Nader!
posted by solistrato at 11:56 AM on October 25, 2000

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