Thursday, November 17, 2005

Was This A Gutenberg Moment?

his was the most memorable phrase I heard last night, but I cannot remember which of the participants in the political roundtable said it, so I can't give proper credit. But in what sense might the long-anticipated launch of Pajamas Media, renamed Open Source Media, be considered a "Gutenberg Moment?" What indeed is, a Gutenberg Moment?

Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg
the Wiki informs us
was a German metal-worker and inventor who achieved fame for his contributions to the technology of printing during 1448, including a type metal alloy and oil-based inks, a mould for casting type accurately, and a new kind of printing press based on presses used in wine-making. Tradition credits him with inventing movable type in Europe -- an improvement on the block printing already in use there. By combining these elements into a production system, he allowed for the rapid printing of written materials, and an information explosion in Renaissance Europe.
That explosion is still being heard and felt the world over, because from Renaissance Europe, Gutenberg's invention became the principal handmaiden and vessel for disseminating knowledge throughout the world. It still is but..

You who are reading this blog in the year 2005, are the first generation in human history that may rely on a whole different technology, a whole different topology than Gutenberg's. That new invention is the personal computer and that new topology is the World Wide Web.

The fantastic thing is that everything in Gutenberg's analog, physical world of paper pages, chemical inks, and metal-type presses--is present in some analogous digital form in the new paradigm of information dispersal. And more, because of the topology, which is that of a scale free network of interacting human agents and their machines. Before this man and machine were never connected like this to each other and its other.

There is one very important thing that these old and new technologies have in common: they have expanded the spread of knowledge worldwide or had and have the potential to. They are both memes of GLOBALIZATION. So if Gutenberg's invention was the globalization of printing to get the Word out, what might Open Source Media represent but the globalization of blogging to get the Word out. I just hope the fun doesn't go out of it from COLLECTIVIZATION.

To me, a Gutenberg moment is a moment of victory for GLOBALISM, the undiscovered virtue that I consider greater than NATIONALISM, and greater even than EMPIRE before it. For it is the child of BOTH, yet has an evil twin that rules the land. The Filipinos will understand this before many others will, because we ARE the FIRST IRAQ.

A Gutenberg Moment proves that what really matters is what really works to produce human happiness, without losing sight of a farther destination. A Gutenberg moment is one that erases the differences among human beings by giving them a common tool--the KNOW-HOW--by which to live upon this planet in peace and prosperity, and to devote their energies not to nihilistic endeavours, but to look up, and in the light of Liberty, see the awesome Night, full of Stars, full of Hope...

At Philippine Commentary I say this again. We must retake the homelands of the heart by reconquering the shuttered archipelago of our demoralized minds.


Rizalist said...

Skies are cloudy but clearing in olde Manila town...
There is no begging bowl here.
We are Bardolaters.
Not hermits.

manuelbuencamino said...

do you think podcasts will change the way we use both the new invention and the web?

Right now we are communicating more directly and with a lot more people but we are still doing it in a linear manner, ala printed word. Do you think this will change to podcasts?

Rizalist said...

The problem with ALL the current media is that they are PUSH technologies::one way from PDI or ABSCBN or RMN to you but that's it. You can't really talk back effectively enough through letters to the ed, readers ombudspersonae, etc. But the Web and blogs are PUSH n PULL. For example I'm already pushing to you what I pulled from you: a valuable comment, thanks! (and your comment was in reaction to my first push ... the original blog post.

There will be a multiplicity of technologies that will facilitate this interaction between author and audience, until in fact the difference becomes blurred. You sir, are already a valuable contributor to Philippine Commentary for example. Part of the meme that it will be. Hopefully infectious!

Podcasts are only one of them, and for now limited to the eliterati with $250 to spare. I don't. My computer is 8 years old.

Rizalist said...

The promise Pajamas showed at first has not been fulfilled, it would seem so far.