Networks without a cause?
Sometimes social networks seem like a case of terrible digital reflux, where everything you consume is reprocessed, redigisted, remixed, reconstituted…and begins to repeat on you.
Surfing the net soon makes me ache for the quiet privacy and mystery of making original. Sketching, writing, playing, thinking without surfing, reading without interruption…
George Orwell once said ‘any speaker repeating familiar phrases has gone some distance to turning himself into a machine.’ Words which carry the unbearable irony of now being a quotation.
Lanier asks why the past two decades have not generated new music styles and sub-cultures, and he blames the strong emphasis on retro in contemporary, remix-dominated music culture. The democratization of digital tools did not herald any “Super-Gershwins”‘ instead, Lanier sees “pattern exhaustion,” a phenomenon in which a culture runs dry of variations on traditional designs, and becomes less creative in general.’
I almost feel guilty sharing this.