Glenn Reynolds, the publisher of the InstaPundit weblog, was a guest on the Alan Colmes Radio Show last night.

The interview, which I've attached as a 17-minute podcast, was to promote his new book An Army of Davids, which has the subtitle "How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths."

No knock on Reynolds, whose blog I enjoy in spite of our political differences, but the interview made the book sound like technoutopianism. Since the dot-com bubble, I have a low tolerance level for fables in which technology solves problems without creating new ones and the geek shall inherit the Earth.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

Rogers, this is the age of Web 2.0, its better than the last bubble! This time technology WILL solve problems and the geek WILL inherit the Earth! It has been fortold to us... last time was a false alarm... :)


 

If you think that's annoying, go read his tretise (PDF), "Is Democracy Like Sex." He posits himself as a complexity theorist, ala ala Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park.

See, here I'm now by myself, uh, er, talking to myself. That's, that's chaos theory.


 

If you take the time to actually read the book (as I am doing right now) rather than idly speculating on the contents, you might find that lots of people, organizations, governments, etc. that are wrapped up in existing business models and structures are not going to consider anything Glenn talks about as "utopian." His point is that these changes are inevitable, have actually been occuring for a while, and something many of us (not all) can look forward to (at least for a little while).


 

Thanks. It may just have been the interview. I'm a Colmes fan, but he burned most of the time asking Reynolds about eBay.


 

and something many of us (not all) can look forward to

Like DOW 36,000.


 

FYI - Reynolds also appeared on the Brian Lehrer Show today.


 

It's a classic kind of right-wing populism, given a technological gloss.

Business models are changing, that's true.

Portraying it as some sort of People Power is utter nonesense, especially coming from a well-supported think-tank pundit - in fact, think-tanking from the same sort of area as DOW 36,000.

This is the techie version of conservatives having control of all three branches of government, yet continuing to portray themselves as oppressed minority rebels fighting the Establishment.


 

Reynolds comes across as a techno-libertarianism. I'm not sure why the dot.com bust would have much to do with whether or not techno-libertarianism/utopianism is correct.

"I have a low tolerance level for fables in which technology solves problems without creating new ones and the geek shall inherit the Earth."

The geek shall inherit the earth. And it is not that technology solves problems without creating new ones, but that it solves problems while creating more manageable problems.

The changes in agriculture in the 19th and 20th century solved one problem -- people in the U.S. generally don't have to worry about starving -- but created another problem in that some of us choose to eat to excess.

We've eliminated many childhood diseases as killers, but there are still those vicious swimming accidents.


 

Since the dot-com bubble, I have a low tolerance level for fables in which technology solves problems without creating new ones and the geek shall inherit the Earth.

That's due to either cynicism or a failure in understanding with regard to the pin what burst the bubble.


 

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