Sunday, April 27, 2008

Social history of TV, and where it's headed

Or, why TV is like gin, and what may happen if the world starts metaphorically drinking Red Bull instead.

A while back I put up a post called "Natural History of TV." Here's Clay Shirky taking a look at the social side of the thing that takes up more of the time of more of the people than seems possible, until you look at numbers. Reminds me of the time years ago a friend borrowed a TV set to look at some particular thing, and gave it back a couple of months later, saying, "It's a cute little monster, but I can't afford to feed it."
I think Shirky is seeing, and talking about, the approach of the Singularity. The Singularity, if and when it arrives, is likely to turn out to have been seen coming from many different directions, and to have looked like many different things to different observers. We may not even notice its arrival, but look around one fine day and discover that things have become very different.

This comes from Making Light, where there are comments.

Update: a "lightly edited transcription" can be found at Clay Shirky's blog, Here Comes Everybody. Thanks to Lynn at Violins and Starships for the pointer.

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