Re: FW: [RRE]Digicash bankruptcy

Joseph M. Reagle Jr. (
Thu, 10 Dec 1998 19:02:51 -0500

>Yes, the world is going to change.
>Yes, information technology will participate, and is already participating,
>in a significant overhaul of the workings of most major social
>But no, those changes are not going to happen overnight. The sad line-up
>of underperforming technologies should be understood not as serious
>attempts at innovation but as a kind of ritual, an expensive and

Seems to me there are two ways to approach the question of to what degree
technology causes change.

1. Argument by technical prophecy. Lots of new tech, amazing tech, pundits
forsee change.
2. Argument by eyeball. Has your work and living environment changed
recently because of tech?

The analysis below rightly criticizes the first argument. Personally, I
would buy the second argument, but that is because I surround myself by new
technology and find it very novel and compelling.

Perhaps the high-threshold question is to ask to what degree has the life of
those who do not like tech and avoid gadgets at all costs changed?


>This is by far the most clever and compelling response I've seen to the
>Wired magazine/Kevin Kelly-style "everything is different" rants.
>Beware of this kind of backlash to techno-utopian visions.
> - dan
> > Interactive television, VRML, Active X, network computers,
> > "push" technology, agents, "social" interfaces, resource
> > visualization, cryptographic payment mechanisms... [this]
> > sad line-up of underperforming technologies should be under-
> > stood not as serious attempts at innovation but as a kind
> > of ritual, an expensive and counterproductive substitute
> > for the chants and dances that healthy societies perform
> > when they are placed under stress.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Phil Agre []
>Sent: Thursday, November 05, 1998 10:37 AM
>To: Red Rock Eater News Service
>Subject: [RRE]Digicash bankruptcy
Joseph Reagle E0 D5 B2 05 B6 12 DA 65 BE 4D E3 C1 6A 66 25 4E
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