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The End of the World as we Know it?
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PUBLISHED ON Mar.30.2005 BY debbie millman
JonSel’s comment is:

Isn't the NYTimes already the paper for the elite and the elderly?

Talk about doom and gloom. Any semblance of realistic possibility was lost to me at the point that news articles were being created via cut and paste technologies. The notion that technology has the possibility to aggregate content in such a fashion is, I suppose, disturbing, but this isn't Terminator.

If there's truly a message to be taken from this, it would be to serve as a reminder that technology is not the answer to everything, and we'd be wise to remember to keep the human element in control,. I see it akin, in a simple sense, to sketching out your concept before using Illustrator and Quark.

On Mar.30.2005 at 12:37 PM
Rob’s comment is:

Orwellian theory aside, anything is possible but that does not make it probable. I think JonSel makes the point perfectly, that no matter how much technology there is to use, it is not the end-all, be-all answer to the success or failure of the human race.

As it is, NPR this morning reported the release of a report by a group of scientists about the dire state of the earth's natural environment, and that if it's not addressed now, then there will be no end to hunger, poverty and disease. And that's something not even Google has the power to fix with a sophisticated algorithm.

On Mar.30.2005 at 01:23 PM
Michael Surtees’s comment is:

the press as you know it has ceased to exist... interesting, when I heard that at the beginning of the clip, I thought the movie was going to be about how reporter's can/not protect their sources. I don't think the tech scenario is so far fetched, but what about flickr?

Federal appeals court upholds reporter subpoenas

On Mar.30.2005 at 01:56 PM
Jeff Gill’s comment is:

I am sick sick sick of the ad nauseum repetition of the idea that Now That We Have That Internet Customisible Blogging Epic Mobile Phone iPod Doo-Hicky everybody lives in a cave being spoonfed "information" that they already agree with, reducing their already shallow lives to a meaningless damp patch in a close-minded huddle of self-superiority with other similar-"thinking" ingrates.


Shallow people were shallow before they build the internets, deep people were deep, and most all of us were psuedo-deep, just like now.

The internet, etc. simply allows people to be what they want to be more easily. Those who enjoy serendipity, enjoy more of it thanks to the internet. Those who don't are free to experience even less of it thanks to the internet.

Is reading a certain newspaper or watching network news any deeper or broader a life than getting your news on line? Hardly.

In 2014 Daily Mail type people will still be aghast at the world's moral decay and the influx of immigrants into the UK. Former readers ofThe Independent will still think they are more clever than anyone else, even if both (and all the other) types of people no longer read newsprint.

No matter how much technology changes, human nature doesn't. So the next time chicken licken starts predicting the future, do what I do: reach just below the surface of your deceptively shallow pool of wisdom and pull out an aphorism. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

On Mar.30.2005 at 03:33 PM
Armin’s comment is:

What is interesting about this movie is that it never seems far fetched (maybe it's just not imaginative enough?). Other than the mention of years post-2005 everything else sounds like any other article in Wired or blurb at kottke's. This is neither good nor bad, I think. I agree with the notion that our humanity trumps technology, but our humanity changes with technology so it's more a case of the tail wagging the dog while the dog licks its asshole. To think that our humanness will prevail regardless of technologic advancements is dangerous… next thing you know HAL could be eating you( fo)r breakfast.

On Mar.30.2005 at 04:39 PM
Gunnar Swanson’s comment is:

Isn't the NYTimes already the paper for the elite and the elderly?

I’m the latter (although probably not the former) and I read it on line.

On Mar.30.2005 at 06:30 PM
Keith McCord’s comment is:

I think its interesting how they rebranded all the companies just by suishing their names together...obviously a hint at the ”spoofy” nature of the piece. I would hope that there are enough informed individuals out there that this would never happen...too Orwell/the Matrix...I think it would be a great movie.

On Mar.30.2005 at 10:03 PM
ben’s comment is:

yes yes yes

this place sucks

On Mar.30.2005 at 10:27 PM
debbie millman’s comment is:

>I think its interesting how they rebranded all the companies just by suishing their names together...obviously a hint at the ”spoofy” nature of the piece. I would hope that there are enough informed individuals out there that this would never happen...

um...FedexKinkos? JP Morgan Chase? TBWA/Chiat Day?

On Mar.30.2005 at 11:05 PM
Bryony’s comment is:

Isn't the NYTimes already the paper for the elite and the elderly?

I’m the latter (although probably not the former) and I read it on line.

Well I am neither, and I like to have my paper waiting on the stoop every morning. On occasion I will consult online.

On Mar.31.2005 at 11:01 AM
Chris Rugen’s comment is:

They gloss over a lot of stuff under the assumption that somehow everyone uses the web as their primary mode of existence, as technophiles are wont do. But what I find most interesting are their points about the merging of commerce, personal data, and news which is then pushed through automated systems run by huge web/data/systems companies. Technology market supremacy is becoming partly an issue of content these days, which is odd in its own way.

I don't think we'll see the 'death' of media anytime soon (or at all), but the co-opting of major news outlets and the hyper-segmentation of content doesn't seem far-fetched. I also like the 'reap what you sow' theme concerning facile and shallow news becoming the preference.

On Mar.31.2005 at 11:17 AM
kleid’s comment is:

I showed this to a coworker. So as not to claim his thought as my own I shall use quotes:

"Isn't the news already like that?"

In two words, Television News.

TV news is like watching an informative Fear Factor. The doom scenario of the Google News takeover just sounds like what Network TV News has become: News that the public wants. Fear and Kittens.

The great thing about print and web news currently, is there are tons of articles that I don't care about. If it's only what I wanted, I'd feel like I was being fed.

On Apr.01.2005 at 11:34 AM
Steve Seeley’s comment is:

If nothing else, this is a well crafted story that really makes you think about the future of media. And it's not rare that great works of fiction actually inspire individuals to action, making the predictions come true.

On Apr.01.2005 at 12:44 PM
gregor’s comment is:

A fun mix of Orson Wells and motion graphics, but wouldn't it have been easier for them to send it to the National Enquirer for publication?

Technologically it's possible and some steps are currently being taken to move toward this, though I don't believe it is toward the ends depicted in the story.

It is a fairly limited view when you imagine the terabytes of information and the natural resources it would take to power such an infrastructure. We're already more than knee deep in trouble regarding natural resources & power (yes, electrical & political). so, no, while possible, Could it happen?: it is unlikely and a classist and elitist assumption ( as Chris pointed out) that everyone will be tied to a computer or some type of pervasive computing device 24/7 for it to be a profitable.

I was among the early employees at Amazon and was there when they almost lost their shirts several times. So yes indeed, it's all about profit and the likely hood of profitability is small considering the novelty of how such a scenario would wear thin quickly amongst the realtively small percentage of the world population who would have technological access to it.

For the sake of a good story, the major players named are relevant now, but unlikely if such a scenario would ever take place.

Should it happen? In the age of pluralism and substantial loss of community we're currently in, imagine what it would be like if communication was so decentralized it simply fades to white noise. Nah, it should not happen.

And I second Gunnar's comments.

On Apr.06.2005 at 08:13 PM
Marc a Roman’s comment is:

I beleive that it is not the world that's not going to end it's the poeple them selves not the world itself, the world has been going threw so much these days it will always stay where she is no one cannot say or predict whats going to happend any way i say if it happends it happends there is nothing we could do anyway where would we hide where would we run it's gonna come for us and it will find us no matter where we would go or hide like god said it will appear like a thife in night

On Jun.05.2005 at 04:50 AM