Ok, here's my first newbie thread. Has anybody read "You are not a gadget" by Jaron Lanier? If so, what do you think? He suggests that Web 2.0 interfaces such as FBook, Myspace, and forums such as this, are structured a way that diminishes our humanity. He suggests that the web: -- Reduces individuality and authenticity by encouraging us to describe ourelves in simplistic "profiles". -- Reduces interpersonal accountability and encourages poor behaviour (i.e. trolling) by allowing anonymous pseudonyms and fake online identities. The worst consequence for poor behaviour is to be banned/blocked from a site, and it is very easy for the troll to create another fake identity immediately. This in turn creates a culture whch tolerates abusive behaviour. -- The "freedom" of the web encourages tolerance of things which really shouldn't be tolerated (eg. fascist ideologies, child pornography) (actually he doesn't say this in the boook, this is my view) -- Promotes trivial interactions by having interfaces which encourage the user to type a few words and click, without having to think too much. The potential speed of interaction discourages deep thought and reflection. Debases the concept of friendship by encouraging people to collect huge lists of "friends" (e.g. on Fbook) who they have no meaningful connection with at all. -- Promotes trash by levelling the playing field between trash and things with real value What prompts me to write this? 1) A recent thing in Australia where a 13 year old murder victim's Fbook memorial page was defaced by pornographic and abusive postings 2) Wondering if the people in this forum behave differently: do the people create the culture or does the medium create the culture?