Cultural Decline or Rebirth?

March 7th, 2003 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized

Over at they are having their Friday night topic on whether we are witnessing the decline of western civilization or not. Here is my response:

I think we are witnessing both the decline of the old culture and the birth of a new one. We are seeing the old structures – the old art, literature, behaviors, all of these things succumbing to rapid social and technological change. We had modernism, post-modernism, and now the death of post-modernism. We’ve had music, re-mixed music, and now re-mixed re-mixes. We have people like Eminem who embody this creative deconstructionism. We are also seeing the western (corrupted) politic going thru its last, desperate moves for total world domination. In part, this is simply nature taking its course with the old power elite holding onto that power as long as possible. That’s why they are reacting with draconian legislation like the DMCA, PATRIOT 1 and possibly II, Total Information Awareness, etc. But they won’t be able to keep up in the end with the decentralized, ad-hoc network of “everyone else”. We are witnessing the birth of global network culture that will simultaneously be both highly unified and highly diverse.

This new emergent decentralized global brain is more cohesive, more intelligent than anything before it. Assuming the old structures don’t collapse catastrophically, we will live to see the birth of a full-fledged networked culture ushering in a new renaissance of creativity and innovation beyond everything that’s happened before it, combined.


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