Re: Push-Technology and Technology News

Steve Witham (
Sun, 16 Mar 1997 20:24:10 -0400

Hal says-

>There's something I don't understand about all the excitement over push.
>It seems to me that the push concept conflates two relatively independent
>ideas: content filtering, and when-available delivery.

My theory is that this is just a strangely strong example of a phenomenon
that happens a lot in writing about technology--one detail pushes people
over a sort of threshold where they're able to imagine a lot of things
all of a sudden, and they attribute these possibilities to the one detail,
rather than going back and a) asking what depends on what, or b) thinking
about their own previous lack of imagination.

This is part of the *real* process of mythologizing technology that I wish
people would study more. It's not just that people view technology as
inevitable. It's that they paste retroactive rationales and categories
on it, package-dealing things. Marketing needs to create categories
and distinctions... But why *journalists* play along *so* slavishly,
so eagerly,, I can't figure. It seems partly
driven by a simple wish to appear to know what's what.


--           Steve Witham
      ___       ___       ___       ___
| | | ___ | | | ___ | | | ___ | | | ___   --"meme" pattern in heater grills
| | | ___ | | | ___ | | | ___ | | | ___      of Boston Red Line subway cars