There is a review today by Glenn Harlan Reynolds in the Wall Street Journal of Jaron Lanier’s new book You Are Not a Gadget. I have not read the book, but I do not share Lanier’s gloom which is mentioned in this and other reviews. Reynolds is on to something very big when he writes this about the mobs socializing smartly in the networks:
But what Mr. Lanier is missing is the sheer fun of a lot of social-media interaction and the way it has brought non-geeks into the computer world. As I look at the social Web that he finds sterile and overly corporatized, I see Tea Party activists, “caveman diet” enthusiasts and model-rocketry devoteesâ€”among countless othersâ€”coming together and finding ways to collaborate, organize and socialize as never before. I see individuals and small groups acquiring creative power and the sort of organizational reach that only large companies or governments once had. Ordinary Americans are experiencing the same kind of buzz and excitement that used to be known only to the “digerati” elite in the halcyon days of the early 1990s.