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The Cody Blog: Society is Alive and Well, We Have Expanded into the iWorld

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Society is Alive and Well, We Have Expanded into the iWorld

Fascinating article from Andrew Sullivan today called "Society is dead, we have retreated into the iWorld" -- at least as far as his writings about the iPod is concerned.

Having an ever-increasing number of news and analysis sources doesn't put us in cocoons. It allows the public to get ever closer to the "truth".

I get a kick out of Andrew Sullivan's commentary about how the iPod is affecting life in NYC -- and indeed, he's right about how so many of us lock ourselves into our own little world when we're out in the bustling outside world of the city. But to imply that the ability for us to draw upon so many new sources of news somehow indicates that "Americans are beginning to narrow their lives" is completely upside down. Flip that -- all these new outlets and sources enable us to broaden our lives. Technology hasn't given us, as Sullivan states, "a universe entirely for ourselves", but a more diverse, realistic and honest universe.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You missed Sullivan's point. He wasn't denying that the availability of multiple news sources could be advantageous. The gist of his argument was that we won't benefit from the explosion of choice because we do not choose to open ourselves to the diversity that is out there. Rather the abundance of choices enable us to narrow our focus to whatever confirms our beliefs and preferences to the exclusion of everything else. Previously, with less choice, we were forced to hear music we may not have chosen or read opinions that we did not agree with. It is akin to core courses in school programs rather than allowing children to choose only electives.

2/22/2005 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Cody Willard said...

I'm not missing his point -- I'm saying he's wrong that people will cocoon themselves in with whatever sources fit their own view of the world. In fact, what I'm saying is that the very concept of pigeon-holed view points is fast becoming a thing of the past. The reality of the democratization of the media is that free-thought itself breaks out.

2/22/2005 02:04:00 PM  
Anonymous James Altucher said...

i don't get it (to anonymous). Are you saying that having less choices is a good thing because it forces us to listen to, and potentially choose, stuff we might not like? What if all the limited choices are bad when all we have is crappy network tv and crappy pop radio stations? How much better is it now that we have amazon to buy our books then just the local, with usually inadequate selections, mom and pop bookstores.

2/22/2005 04:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not saying limited choice is bad. Obviously, the more choice, the better, (especially when the limited choice is of poor quality). What I am saying is that human nature is such that people will "pigeon-hole" themselves willingly with similar those who have similar views and preferences rather than allow themselves to be open to everything that may be out there. That is what I think Sullivan was saying.

2/22/2005 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Barry Ritholtz said...

Sullivan is the worst kind of hack writer -- his extreme talent with prose masks his lack of anything to say. His god given talent is wasted on his ideological fixations. Its a shame, really.

Ooohh, iPods are taking over the city you say? Wow, thats startling. Its changing society? Wow, amazing -- kinda like the Walkman did 30 FN years ago, huh?


Given his huge and obvious talent with language, its unfortunate that so many of his ideas are bereft of originality or thoughtfulness. He is a lazy intellectual. (You like Apples? How about them Apples!)

Lastly, (and I apologize in advance for going ad hominum), I find the concept of gay conservatives amusing. The cliche is that they object to their own lifestyle.

2/28/2005 12:59:00 PM  

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