We should have learned from the last bubble that sobering concepts such as "the real world" just do not signify during bubble inflation, probably because the very act of inflation in grounded in an arrogant utopianism. ("Don't worry about the real world--or the 'old economy' or whatever--because after the changes you won't recognize it any more!") Consider Needleman's account of the Cluetrain Manifesto and its "shiny new values competing with reasonable but conservative older values:"
- Simplicity over Completeness
- Long tail over Mass Audience
- Share over Protect
- Advertise over Subscribe
- Syndication over Stickiness
- Early Availability over Correctness
- Select by Crowd over Editor
- Honest voice over Corporate Speak
- Participation over Publishing
- Community over Product
There is (at least) one entry missing from this list. It's absence discloses the dirty secret of the whole story. The entry I have in mind is:
- Confidence over credibility
This not to say that we should hurl our wooden shoes into the works of the new engines of these confidence games. However, the Internet can help us to be more critical readers, rather than just more "clued-in" ones. If we read those ten enumerated value shifts more critically, we shall probably be less enthusiastic about embracing them. Some of us might even think our way through to dialectical syntheses that might play out in the real world!