Three technologies have brought us to the edge of another axial shift today. Air travel has given entire populations unprecedented mobility. The intermodal container has delivered a cornucopia of products to every corner of the globe. And cyberspace has become a promiscuous, meme-spreading hotbed of ideas.
Throw in the usual round of human misery served up by war, revolution and natural disasters, and the result is a potent cultural Petri dish from which a new god could spring. Populations around the world are struggling to find security and identity in this strange new future-shock world. The rise of fundamentalism is a sure indicator of dissatisfaction with the current religious order. Unhappy believers first look back to their roots for comfort, but origins rarely comfort and thus they will inevitably search for a new god.
You know, people should read more Saffo, he opens up as many questions when he writes about disinetermediation as he does close down hopes. That said, Curtis’ post today is a sobering read:
The inescapable fact is that agents are intermediaries in a disintermediating world, and digital technology is remorseless in its dissolution of those who stand between buyer and seller. The chasm between writers and publishers, for so long occupied by literary agents, has narrowed as authors realize that they are but one touch of their Send key away from their readers.