You know things are bad when…

You’re suggesting as actual politics a decade old Thomas Freidman trope.

Technology has created a flat earth where we can participate as equals


It gives us Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates but something much more. It gives us informed, enabled and empowered citizens precisely because we can learn, talk and act together to solve the critical challenges of a world in which the poor get poorer, the planet burns and democracy is in crisis, because traditional politics can’t reverse either inequality or climate change.

The old icebergs of state and corporation are dissolving into a fluid sea where action only becomes meaningful in concert with others. The waves of change demand interconnections, because we know all of us together are smarter than any one of us on our own.

My suspicion is that Neal Lawson is actually an algorithm, a not very good one, programmed to mine Freidman’s old columns and then present them as something new for the UK market. That the original columns actually make more sense is a guide to the quality of the ‘bot here.

7 thoughts on “You know things are bad when…”

  1. “It gives us informed, enabled and empowered citizens”

    *strokes chin*

    Rather, it gives us ignorant, lazy and feckless citizens. who seek out points of view that reinforce their own, while shunning those that contradict them. Who won’t engage in proper discourse with people holding different views from them, but instead demonise them. Who can’t be arsed to get out and vote but are more than happy to sign the latest Facebook campaign or petition.

    New technologies hasn’t broken down prejudice. It has entrenched it. Has Lawson ever thought to open his eyes and look?

  2. In general though the direction of discourse seems to be the opposite: I regularly see “new” ideas in US papers that were common knowledge in the UK a decade or more ago.

  3. “The old icebergs of state and corporation are dissolving into a fluid sea ” of an international corporatist clique dedicated to stiffing the little man and individual on a scale never seen before.

    Large corporations with socialised losses and privatised gains operate in a regulatory environment tailor made to suit them.

    Democracy has become a code word for the opposite of liberty, and is used to justify every turn of the ratshit.

    It is a truly ugly situation, and Kiev will likely be played out in Paris, Rome, Berlin and London before the decade is out.

  4. Are lefties not worried about the “digital divide” any more then?

    Remember the “digital divide”? About 10 years or so ago, in their continuing mission to find new and ever more exotic forms of inequality to get upset about / militate for government action over, a lot of lefties were crying about poor people not having broadband and computers and whatnot.

    Seems to hace gone out of fashion now that the bastard Tories are literally exterminating the poor via the evil bedroom tax and benefits cap.

  5. The World is Flat was smug irritating crap. When I read it (just after the bust) it just seemed wrong, as well.

  6. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Friedman is something of a superstar: in a stable of hacks that contains Maureen Dowd, Charles Blow, Gail Collins and Paul Krugman, he is the most egregiously wrong-headed. Neal Lawson’s stuff is as hackneyed or more. It’s beige-coloured twaddle, absolutely classic MEGO* blathering.

    * My Eyes Glaze Over

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