Tuesday, 23 February 2010

You are not a gadget

I have been hearing the term "Social Müdigkeit" around for a week or two now - for non-German speakers, "Müde" is "tired", so it translates as "weariness with Social Media". I suppose I've had this feeling for a while myself - it tends to come when you get an invite to join yet another group that's going to do precisely nothing on Facebook and when you have enough of your own stuff to be getting on with anyway. Having said that, I'm pretty sure this is a mood, or temporary state, as with any form of tiredness and I'll be back with a vengeance next time someone posts a long-lost video of a Saatchi conference in the 90s or something.

It's probably not any different to those times when we were "fed up with TV" - until something worth watching came along.

However, it's probably good to be in this state of mind to read the new book from Jaron Lanier - "You are not a gadget". I haven't read this "manifesto" yet but, from the reviews such as this one from flavorwire, it certainly looks interesting.

"We've elevated the cloud or hive mind above the spirit, intelligence and idiosyncracy of the individual" says the review. It's certainly worth a thought: can the so-called "wisdom" of mobs and computer algorithms really be superior to the intelligence and judgement of human individuals?