Much like Late Stage Capitalism, we citizens of first world are being subjected to the dark side of the Information Age. The term may be a tool of the Marxists but there's something to it. Ironically, it's when "capitalism" is acting more socially, centrally controlled and less free market.
So, when capitalism isn't being capitalism and degenerates turn it into consumerism and worship its materialism.
Here's an except from The Atlantic:
In his canonical 1984 essay and 1991 book, both titled Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, Jameson argued that the globalized, post-industrial economy had given rise to postmodernist culture and art. Everything, everywhere, became commodified and consumable. High and low culture collapsed, with art becoming more self-referential and superficial.
Could the highly coveted Information Age being going through something similar? For years, I've argued so. This last tail of the Information Age is heavily focused on the Internet. Information, while plentiful, seems to be decreasing in value and less democratized than advertised by our so-called liberal thought leaders.
In this late stage of the Information Age, information is trivial, scarce in qualitative value, and conversations controlled by the highly credential, slow to think, progressive ruling class. Brave New World much?
This isn't the place and time for me to fully litigate the issue. I want to single out one titan—one that many of us consider core to liberal democracy—and offer some optimism that awaits us should we slay this giant beast.
Media, as we understand it today, does not serve its proclaimed purpose nor does it serve the people. We should abolish corporate media and defund partisan propaganda disguised as non-profit journalism.
It took me years to get to this position but the institution and the industry is beyond salvaging. The perfect convergence of rich elites buying media outlets as an insurance policy or to peddle state intelligence propaganda, the adoption of the internet leading to a loss in revenue and laying off liberal journalists whom at least pretended to follow ethical guidelines, and the partisan thirst by young progressive writers (no longer journalists) to shrink right-wing wins, led to the death of media journalism.
We need journalism but we don't need media; not as we know it.
We also cannot go back. We can only imagine a better way forward—one that honors the traditions and ethics that made classical liberalism tolerable but one that does not hand the keys back to the institutional left. They're either malicious or incapable of policing their own, worst elements.
I imagine a better future empowered by spurned classical liberals, intellectually curious conservatives, and cryptography—in everything from blockchain to end-to-end encryption. Imagine with me...
Curated boards that rank information.
Bounties for information produced or amplified.
Crowdsourced fact checking based on probabilities and reputation instead of absolutist declarations policed by biased non-profits.
Discoverability needs to move away from evil companies like Google. Authority needs to move away from corporations like CNN, Disney, Netflix, and NBC.
Technology alone won't save us but it may give enough breathing room to rediscover ethics governing information and self education needed to weigh merit.
We must more intelligently organize our information, allow dissenting views to weigh into the narrative, and make dissemination platforms censorship-resistant.
We can build the future together. It doesn't have to be a dream. Let's make it an aspiration. I want to encourage technologists and financiers to contact me.