Re: [Fwd: QOTD: Moderately Gifted.]

From: Jim Fehlinger (
Date: Sat Apr 14 2001 - 18:30:30 MDT

Anders Sandberg wrote:

> onsdagen den 11 april 2001 03:30 I wrote:

> > quoted:

> > > "... simply moderate giftedness has been made worthless by the printing
> > > press and radio and television and satellites and all that. A moderately
> > > gifted person who would have been a community treasure a thousand years
> > > ago has to give up, has to go into some other line of work, since modern
> > > communications put him or her into daily competition with nothing but
> > > world's champions.

> > ...there's a sharpening of hierarchy in all human endeavors inherent
> > in the technological advancement of human communication itself
> > (including, now, the Internet).
> Has not the Internet lowered the threshold to become a producer? Sure, it is
> hard to get a big economic payback for producing on the net [see Clay Shirky's
"Help, the Price of Information Has Fallen And It Can't Get Up", ], but that has not
> prevented people from producing and expressing terabytes of stuff...

Yes, something like 1 1/2 terabytes of Usenet text archives were turned over
by Deja to Google, IIRC (only representing traffic since 1995, and that figure
presumably doesn't include any indices).

The question is, how much of this is analogous to "get[ting] drunk at a
wedding and tapdanc[ing] on the coffee table like Fred Astaire or
Ginger Rogers. We have a name for [someone who does that]. We call him or her
an 'exhibitionist.'"

On the other hand, Clay Shirky claims (in "In Praise of Evolvable Systems", )
"The effects of this ease of implementation... are twofold: a huge increase
in truly pointless and stupid content soaking up bandwidth; and, as a
direct result, a rush to find ways to compete with all the noise through
the creation of interesting work. The quality of the best work on the Web
today has not happened in spite of the mass of garbage out there,
but in part because of it."

That sounds like a win-win situation ;-> .

Jim F.

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