Breaking taboos in the tech fishbowl
Are we guilty of navel gazing to the point of silliness? Loren Feldman gives voice to a feeling that a lot of other folks will recognize.
"Twitter's not going to change the world. Twitter's never, ever going to change the world," says Loren Feldman in a recent video post.
I think Tech's Last Angry Man--actually, he's a very nice guy in person--is on to something important. Of course, Feldman's cri de coeur is less about Twitter, per se, than about the increasingly banal state of tech "conversation," circa summer 2008.
Loren says that he's become bored by most of the debate churned out in the echo chamber. Chalk up part of this to the inevitable warp and woof of techdom. Great breakthroughs occur at irregular intervals, and you run across inevitable intellectual dry patches. (You don't invent something like the World Wide Web each year.) But I part company with Loren here. Actually, I think we're living through one of the more interesting times in recent years, what with the advent of cloud computing and the move, in fits and starts, toward a more intelligent Web. But that's debate for another time.
Back to Loren's main point, anyone who has followed the incessant bleating about Twitter's supposedly existential meaning to our lives--let alone the silly debate over Twitter versus FriendFeed--has to wonder whether tech's chattering class has lost its sense of perspective. Are we guilty of navel gazing to the point of silliness? (David Risley has a different take on the topic.)
For that matter, Loren could have extended his critique to the equally inane holy wars that periodically erupt between a familiar cast of bloggers. The squabbles would bore the other 99.9 percent of humanity to tears--that is, if they ever bothered to tune in. Happily, they've got lives to live.