The Social Network

Steve Jobs changed the way in which we interface with computers, giving billions of people the ability to use information in ways in which they never could before.

Bill Gates changed the way in which the world does business, creating a set of tools whose functions are so commonplace they appear on a resume more than any other description.

Mark Zuckerberg made it so that millions of people could “like” a pickle.

Prophet? Genius? Nigga, please. If you’re a tech reporter, you’ve wasted your life. You’ve taken your own personal hero worship for wealthy wonder children and turned it into a lucrative racket by spinning hyperbole from fleeting pop cultural trends. The fact that iJustine can be called a reporter is proof that the only criteria for tech “journalism” is a really amazing set of jugs and an iPhone bill.

But it’s worse than that. You’ve allowed billion dollar industries to act in clandestine secrecy by throwing up a smokescreen of utopist prophecy, in which corporations who act as watchdogs for tyrannical governments are actually progressive visionaries building a brighter future through innovation. And while those innovations are shiny and dazzling and impressive in that they allow things to be done which were impossible before, they are still just toys with no application but personal amusement and minor convenience. Yes, I could never “like” a pickle before, but how does that change the fact that we’re losing two wars, pouring billions of gallons of oil into the gulf, and bogged down in a recession? Eli Whitney advanced the farm which brought about the Industrial Revolution; Mark Zuckerberg advanced Farmville.

If the technorati today, with its insatiable hunger for something to blather about 24/7, were to have existed back in say… the 80’s or 90’s… how would history look at their grandiose predictions of “world changing” technologies? I wonder…

THE PLAYER: David Wetherell explains why the web is a “no risk” investment (Wired July, 1999)

101 Ways To Save Apple (Wired June, 1997)

Number 1?  “Admit it. You’re out of the hardware game.”

I could cite more, but it’s probably just easier to link the Wired Magazine Cover Archive. Just pick an issue at random and it’s probably filled with bullshit.


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