Wednesday, May 4th, 2005
The torrent of stories — journalists bemoaning the collapse of their profession and pundits jimmying the cracks in traditional corporate hierarchies and law jobs being outsourced to India for $65 an hour — are more evidence of the coming End of (Industrial) Times.
Major industries have evolved in parallel in the four hundred years since Gutenberg allowed the mass production of words and the Industrial Revolution allowed the mass production of objects. The confluence of publishing and manufacturing created a third industry — advertising. These industries are all, together, part of a giant ecosystem, jammed with interlocking processes, hyper-speciated job descriptions, complex food chains. It’s an organic whole, an industrial and sociological Gaia. I see it every day — braindead ads produced by blind and deaf industrial-age hierarchies serving clueless companies. They muddle along, doing OK by their own metrics, without glimpsing the startling new dimensions and rainbows around them.
The Internet is a comet strike into the lush eco-sphere that grew from the seeds planted by Gutenburg and
Watt and Arkwright. The temperature has dropped. There’s less oxygen. No big food. Can you say mass coextinctions?
(Long live the ants and their humble constructions.)