Sunday, June 17, 2012

Joseph Summers: Decresendo

In the land of the creative class, the real estate prices are booming. The restaurants are booked, and all the business corporations are dedicated anew to cutting edge thinking. The menswear may be nothing to emulate, but you can’t quarrel with the data. In Silicon Valley, job creation clicks in at three times the national average. Scrums of young billionaires collect record salaries and profits, offer world-beating stocks, and host bacchanalias at night after changing the world during the day. Just now, in fact, the tech industry’s self-made men are locked in a battle for the ages, pitting the boldest companies and savviest minds in a contest to reinvent … television. What won’t they think up next?

A great deal, it turns out. The fable that we are living through a time of head-snapping innovation in technology drives American thought these days – dystopian and utopian alike. But if you look past both the hysteria and the hype, and place the achievements of technology in historical perspective, then you may recall how business leaders promised not long ago to usher us into a glorious new time of abundance that stood beyond history. And then you may wonder if their control over technology hasn’t excelled mainly at producing dazzling new ways to package and distribute consumer products (like television) that have been kicking around history for quite some time.

Joseph Summers, "Decrescendo" (2012)

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