FROM PLACES TO SPACES

The network economy encourages the middle space.

It supplies technology (which the industrial age could not) to nurture mid-sized wonders.

Technology for mass production will remain. Technology to customize the personal will accelerate. But for the first time we have technology naturally suited for a size smaller than mass and greater than the self. We have a technology of net and web, stuffed with middleness.

Futurist Alvin Toffler says it best: “The era of mass society is over.” He ticks off the casualties: “No more mass production. No more mass consumption. No more mass education. No more mass democracy. No more weapons of mass destruction. No more mass entertainment.”

In its place: a world of demassified niches. Niche production, niche consumption, niche diversion, niche education. Niche world. Communities. Affinity groups. Clubs. Special Interest Groups. Clans. Subcultures. Tribes. Cults. (There is nothing utopian about this world.) Instead of the mass technology of broadcast TV, we now have net-centric alternatives.

 

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-- KK