Let’s face it: Technology and etiquette have been colliding for some time now, and things have finally boiled over if the recent spate of media criticisms is anything to go by. There’s the voicemail, not to be left unless you’re “dying.” There’s the e-mail signoff that we need to “kill.” And then there’s the observation that what was once normal — like asking someone for directions — is now considered “uncivilized.”
Cyber-savvy folks are arguing for such new etiquette rules because in an information-overloaded world, time-wasting communication is not just outdated — it’s rude. But while living according to the gospel of technological efficiency and frictionless sharing is fine as a Silicon Valley innovation ethos, it makes for a downright depressing social ethic.
On day one of the fight between Israel and Hamas, the Israeli Defense Forces executed a top leader of the militant group — and took to Twitter and YouTube to brag about it. On day two, the Palestinian group hit back, launching its most sophisticated rockets and announcing every new barrage on social media.
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Lots of people are talking about whether electronic artists push one button or more than one button when they play live. Everyone else seems to be bickering about whether the kids today are immoral because they play videogames and stream music instead of dropping acid and seeing the Grateful Dead.
You know who isn’t talking? Ironically, because it’s his job, Louis CK. He’s too busy doing things like reinventing the media business, if only for one man and his fans.