Ming the Mechanic greets all visitors to his blog with a provocative statement:
An old rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open, free and exciting is waking up.
The death of old controls, of partisan and immovable forces (for example "old media" or "big business" or "traditional marketing"), is a pervasive theme on the net and blogs in particular. It seems that in every corner of the Web lurk a thousand stories about recording industry moguls or old school journalists or slow-moving CEOs who are frantically trying to shore up their interests as a new tide continues to wash away the sand their power centers are built on. Even our own government is taking steps to deny this movement (and their motivations may be the most sinsiter of them all).
It's a fascinating thing to watch. We are witnessing nothing short of a quiet revolution, perhaps something even larger than Joi's emergent democracy. I suspect it's even more exciting to be a part of it (although as a part-time blogger I can hardly claim myself as a participant). This technological promised land is not a given and requires support and sacrifice and vigilance just like any other political effort. As Lawrence Lessig claims in his book, "there is no nature in cyberspace." We can make it into anything we want. Our task at hand is to make sure that it is shaped by the traditions and ideals that our country was once celebrated for.
Hugh gets it. Amazon gets it. Seth and EFF and in some weird way maybe even Soundscan all get it.
I am just beginning to kind of understand. A little.