Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Paul Saffo, Forecaster for the Institute for the Future, discusses media, technology, and the future in this San Francisco Chronicle interview:

"Q: You've written that "Information Age" is "a profoundly wrongheaded description" of our times. What would be a better phrase?

A: It's not information. It's media. This is why I think it's been so hard for traditional media to cover what's going on. I can't imagine how you can find the discipline to be emotionally detached reporting on a revolution, the winds of which are blowing right down the hallways of the publication you work for. That's like an orthopedic surgeon trying to perform arthroscopic surgery on their own knee. It's possible, but it's hard to see through all the pain. It really is a media revolution and I think the closest parallel is what happened in the 1950s with the rise of television. The arrival of television established a mass-media order that dominated the last 50 years. This is a personal media revolution. The distinction between the old order and the new order is very important. Television delivered the world to our living room. In the old media, all we could do was press our noses against the glass and watch. This new world of personal media -- the Web, the Internet and et cetera -- not only delivers the world to your living rooms, but everywhere. And we get to answer back. And we're expected to answer back."