May 17, 2022Liked by Chris Martin

Only my second article here, but really, really bad take.

It is not how much more "powerful" something is that determines the impact. By definition, more recent advances will be more powerful, but usually less impactful, because they are iterative improvements.

Yes, jets are more powerful than cars, for example. But the car (and the train previously) caused a far more profound change for humanity compared to what they had before.

In the case of the internet...where is the revolution? It is basically a porn and entertainment delivery device, an iterative improvement on existing entertainment options. But not that transformational, at all.

Society was massively changed by the printing press, and the Industrial Revolution. We have an easier way to buy junk, and more entertainment options. That's it.

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I think this is correct! The social internet is a step change from the printing press. It lowered transaction costs of communication to near zero. However, they may be similar in how they felt in society at the time. The press broke down the authority structures by individualizing knowledge dissemination and absorption. The internet is doing similar things today after we got used to the world of the press. I think the "feeling" (best word I have) is probably very similar until we settle in to whatever "normal" is in the next 100-300 years.

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