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V. VALE editorial July 2011 for interim newsletter: How Many Jobs Has the Internet Killed?

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July 2011 editorial by V. Vale, RE/Search and Search&Destroy founder:


If I were an alien from Outer Space wanting to ruin life on Planet Earth, I think I’d invent the Internet.
I’d get every earthling constantly connected via some electronic wireless gizmo to an ADD-creating, creativity-sucking, time-wasting, globally-exploitative hive-video-brain offering:
1) massive discounts no “local” merchant could afford to give
2) “free” illegal downloads of the entirety of the world’s cultural output, thus chopping off at the root any chance of lengthy artistic development and maturation
3) billions of shocking / titillating images, films, videos and words whose net effect is even more passivity-inducement and lethargy
4) fake social networking whose RESULT is: nobody gets together in the same room anymore — too much trouble. Everyone’s at home consuming images and audio on an electronic screen, writing inconsequential fluff, and twittering their lives away…(Yes, a few who can still afford it, sit “alone together” in coffeehouses, glued to their electronic devices).
5) in sum, constant, hypnotizing distraction so that silence and solitude have become unthinkable, obsolete and positively quaint…
Then I’d sit around and watch 99% of the earthlings get fat and insane as every possible place offering “real social contact in real time” goes out of business — most never to return. The 1% left are like the actors in the ancient Roman Games, living the “real” lives while the other 99% act like the zombie spectators they are, each unemployed spectator telling themselves they’re truly unique and “special” and deserve to be celebrities…
Meanwhile, none of the 99% ever suspect that the Internet was the cause…

(Ironically, since this is posted on the Internet, this “rant” will doubtless be ignored… Oh yes, it was written by a luddite BOOK publisher – almost forgot what a “book” was – I once saw one, long ago… )

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