There’s way too much stupidity in the world to comment on all of it, but sometimes you see something that sets a new standard. The Cato Institute has commissioned Jaron Lanier to explain the Internet, and his contribution makes all the silly drivel written about it in the past look downright serious. Lanier’s main point is that the Internet is a social construct:
I hope I have demonstrated that the Net only exists as a cultural phenomenon, however much it might be veiled by an illusion that it is primarily industrial or technical. If it were truly industrial, it would be impossible, because it would be too expensive to pay all the people who maintain it.
Now it’s silly enough when left-feminist academics say “gender is a social construct” but this is downright hilarious. Lanier had something to do with gaming goggles once upon a time, but he’s basically illiterate and has no special expertise in networking. Cato is obviously over-funded and intent on wasting your time.
If you want to read a futurist of merit, check out Ray Kurzweil, a man of learning and intelligence who certainly won’t waste your time with a bunch of new-age drivel.
Coyote at the Dog Show has read Lanier’s essay, and he’s not impressed either. He mentions Lanier’s seemingly senseless attack on the concept of the “file” in computers. The revolutionary alternative that Lanier proposes is a time-indexed file, something that’s commonplace for video servers. Not exactly revolutionary, and not exactly well-informed.
If you don’t like files, folders, directories, and symbolic links, fine, throw all your stuff into a single common file and be done with it.