May 21, 2008

All Is Grist for the Mill?

Ouch.  Grist unloads on the new "environmental" issue of Wired and the "techno-go-go culture":
This techno-futurist, hipster-libertarian, self-consciously contrarian shtick was fresh and interesting ... back in 1996, when Wired was founded. Since then, it has congealed into a set of knee-jerk mannerisms and affectations. It has lost its edge. At this point it just makes me yawn.

It's telling that the best thing in the issue is written by Alex Steffen, proprietor of Worldchanging. It's clear at this point that the cultural energy that once infused Wired, and the techno-go-go culture it represented, has now moved on. You want creativity, entrepreneurial energy, and innovative thinking? Look to the bright green movement, which is, judging by this issue, about 10 steps ahead of Wired on this stuff.

Since the whole issue reads like something discovered in founder Louis Rossetto's recycling bin, it's appropriate that Rossetto has an essay in it, looking back over the last 15 years and pondering what the mag has gotten right and wrong. This says it all:
We recognized a world in transition, but we missed the danger in front of us. We eschewed conventional wisdom, but we couldn't escape it. Takeaway: Be contrarian, and then be contrarian again.
No. Really. Please. Quit positioning yourself relative to what other people are saying. Stop primping yourself in your intellectual mirror. Take a clear-eyed look at the world. Let the world inform you.
Good day to you, sir!

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