A place for new ideas to settle.

16 August 2011

Loving the Internet Hate Machine

Contra this op-ed piece in the New York Times: Technology Provides an Alternative to Love. Read that, then get back to me. Now back to that. Now back to me. Okay, one more thing, said by me on Facebook:
Interesting, but that guy's writing style ground on my nerves. The message is cloyingly earnest but it doesn't stick to a single point. He starts off with tech-culture specifically but shifts to consumer-culture in general and then offers his anecdote on birdwatching (which, how the hell does birdwatching do anything for conservation except as a preliminary step?) and offers a meek "well, try it sometime" conclusion. Even that title annoys me. Clearly the thesis is that the erotic/consumerist nature of technology is WORSE than love; why didn't they title it "Technology Prevents Us From Loving Things"? THAT'S a killer title.
That was my first conclusion: namely, that the article itself was all over the map and fairly poor-quality overall. Then I started thinking about the attempted message, and came to this second conclusion:

The Internet makes it easy to "like" things, but even easier to hate things.