John Schinnerer
1 min readJan 5, 2023

--

The magical thinking of the early internet was just that. Projections of hope for change in society onto the new medium. But social patterns didn't change, so neither did how we used the internet.

It's the same progression as most all new-at-the-time technology in the history of our industrial world. Shazam! A new technology will make more information available faster and more broadly from more sources than ever! Then the status quo players move in, take it over, co-opt it, turn it all into a tool for their ends (power/control over others and/or money-hoarding). Print, film, radio, TV...all the same essential progression, with different details of course. There are always a few niches left, but they have insignificant effect on the larger systems.

This was inevitable, in western industrial society. It's what we do - commodify, commercialize, and vulgarize everything we possibly can. There was nothing inherent in 'the internet' as a media platform that would stop us from doing this, so we did it.

As for China and Russia, the drivers have been somewhat different - assuring government control over content and access as much or more than private profits - but the results essentially the same.

--

--

John Schinnerer

A generalist in a hyper-specialized society. "How we do what we do is who we are becoming." - Humberto Maturana