Timothy M. Denton

Success Through Understanding Technology

Timothy Denton's Blog

Commentary and insights on policy issues in telecommunications and the Internet.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that has been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login

Utopia is creepy

Posted by on in Industry News
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • 0 Comments
  • Print

Nicholas Carr is a a blogger of insight. He has the advantage of paying a lot of attention professionally to Silicon Valley,. He believes that the owning class in the Valley schemes to absorb every moment of your consciousness into their devices. Every moment. His collection of essays is in book form under the title Utopia is Creepy, and I recommend it warmly. The essays are bite-sized aper├žus from his blog, Roughtype.

In one essay his subject was driving cars, and his point was that Silicon Valley had a lot of difficulty accepting what he calls "informal experience".

"When it's not a recreational routine, when it's performed out in the world, as part of everyday life, then driving, in the Valley view, can only be understood in the context of another formalized realm of experience: that of productive busyness. Every experience has to be cleanly defined has to be categorized. There's a place and a time for recreation, and there's a place and a time for production.

This discomfort with the informal, with experience that is psychologically unbounded, that flits between and beyond categories, can be felt in a lot of the Valley's consumer goods and services. Many personal apps and gadgets have the effect, or at least the intended effect, of formalizing informal activities. Once you strap on a Fitbit, you transform what might have been a pleasant walk in the park into a program of physical therapy. A passing observation that once might have earned a few fleeting smiles or shrugs before disappearing into the ether is now, thanks to the distribution systems of Facebook and Twitter, encapsulated as a product and subjected to formal measurement; every remark gets its own Nielsen rating."

Nicholas Carr is a provocative essayist and author, and while not as extravagantly original as Marshall McLuhan, he is in that same league: he engages in wide-ranging critical thought about media, computers, and the places they and their designers are taking us. In short, pay attention to him.

0
Trackback URL for this blog entry.

Timothy Denton is a lawyer by training who practices principally in telecommunications and Internet policy and domain name issues, with a strong concentration on explaining what the technology is and what it means.

Comments

  • No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Monday, 20 November 2017
You are here: Home Timothy Denton's Blog Utopia is creepy