Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Dan Carlin smacks it once again.

If you haven't already discovered Dan Carlin, I suggest you check him out.  Be it his Common Sense political podcast or his Hardcore History podcast, both are excellent.  I have just gotten around to watching the short video introduction to the website and I was struck once again by what he said.

He talks about the relevance of social, digital media to our future descendants by reflecting on how different our historical knowledge of Alexandra the Great's times would be if they all had blogs and podcasts.  Our future selves will be able to look back on our own time and garner a three-dimensional image of our society, rather than a culture that is rigidly controlled by power structures that monopolised cultural creation (the 'Gatekeepers', as he calls them).

As ever with Dan (he can be rather downhearted and pessimistic at times, not that I can blame him for that), I can't help but feel he doesn't follow through with his clearly excellent grasp of History and apply those rules to the present time.  Just as Historians could only ever work with history written by the winners, so too has society only ever been able to form identities written by the winners.  Historians work with culture to construct identity.. precisely what we all do in the creation of our selves everyday of our lives.  Therefore, what is revolutionary to future historians is, ipso facto, revolutionary to us, today.

We too can now construct a three dimensional view of our world, bypassing the biases and interests of the Gatekeepers.  Indeed, with digital technology this revolution will be visualised, a 3D epic to end them all.  Our global shared identity is being born, spreading through wires and through the air, attracted to that which is most rational; our reality whose perceived order betrays our shared existence within it.

There are walls to be overcome, fundamentalists of religion, state and commerce, but we must remember that for all but the few with everything to lose, everyone will be exposed to attractor of the most rational in a time of global communication: our global, universal commonalities.

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