“Global Uniformity”

Prophetic words from 1995:

“I think cyberspace means the end of our species….Because it means the end of innovation….This idea that the whole world is wired together is mass death.

“Every biologist knows that small groups in isolation evolve fastest. You put a thousand birds on an ocean island and they’ll evolve very fast. You put ten thousand on a big continent, and their evolution slows down. Now, for our own species, evolution occurs mostly through our behavior. We innovate new behavior to adapt. And everybody on earth knows that innovation only occurs in small groups.

“Put three people on a committee and they may get something done. Ten people, and it gets harder. Thirty people, and nothing happens. Thirty million, it becomes impossible. That’s the effect of mass media—it keeps anything from happening. Mass media swamps diversity. It makes every place the same.

“Bangkok or Tokyo or London: there’s a McDonald’s on one corner, a Benetton on another, a Gap across the street. Regional differences vanish. All differences vanish. In a mass-media world, there’s less of everything except the top ten books, records, movies, ideas. People worry about losing species diversity in the rain forest. But what about intellectual diversity—our most necessary resource? That’s disappearing faster than trees.

“But we haven’t figured that out, so now we’re planning to put five billion people together in cyberspace. And it’ll freeze the entire species. Everything will stop dead in its tracks. Everyone will think the same thing at the same time. Global uniformity.”

–Michael Crichton, The Lost World

One comment on ““Global Uniformity”

  1. So, a population reduction from a world-wide genocide would be favorable then? One thing that I like about cyberspace is the collaboration of the silent majority or the sharing of ideas globally. This is something we didn’t get very easily before cyberspace. For instance, most foreign television is banned in the U.S. for viewing. But, with Youtube, I can watch things like “The Fifth Estate” which is like 20/20 but better and can normal only be seen in Canada. Or you can simply make friends with anybody around the globe via Facebook. Global information can be a good thing. Through cyberspace, I have learned how much I didn’t know about other cultures and how much our own media has shielded us or controlled our viewing and kept us in the dark. We then form our opinions from limited sources. Now, globally, things have sped up and everything is evolving quickly – Not slowly.

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