Roots of the revolution

February 10th, 2010

Guillotine_(PSF)In May 2009¬†I talked to some Otago University students about why social media is important – not just because it’s new technology, but¬†because it’s a symptom and enabler of a massive social shift that’s happening.

Over the next few weeks I’ll delve into the roots of this revolution, but first it would pay to explain what this revolution actually is.

In the book “Dawn to Decadence”, historian Jacques Barzun defines a revolution as “the violent transfer of power and property in the name of an idea”. He goes on:
We have got into the habit of calling too many things revolutions. Given a new device or practice that changes our homely habits, we exclaim: “revolutionary!” But revolutions change more than personal habits or a widespread practice. They give culture a new face

In the book “Dawn to Decadence“, historian Jacques Barzun defines a revolution as “the violent transfer of power and property in the name of an idea”. He goes on:

We have got into the habit of calling too many things revolutions. Given a new device or practice that changes our homely habits, we exclaim: “revolutionary!” But revolutions change more than personal habits or a widespread practice. They give culture a new face.

Is this a time of violent transfer of power and property? Are we in genuinely revolutionary times?

Just ask the newspaper industry. Or the movie industry. Or music, or TV. There’s violence (financially speaking), and there’s transfer of power and property. And not all the news is bad, either.

But is it just technology driving this? No. There are a whole bunch of factors that have brought us where we are today. Starting soon, we’ll examine them in-depth.

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