Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, July 10, 2014

Andrew Leonard, Salon: The Greeks had a word for this, I thought, as I worked my way through Marc Andreessen's most recent epic tweet storm. The venture capitalist -- who has suddenly begun treating Twitter as his own personal pulpit for delivering Silicon Valley's version of the Sermon from the Mount -- was explaining to his 124,000 followers the awesomeness of the "superpowers" that emerging technology has bequeathed to each and every one of us: A new age of wonder is at hand, Andreessen declared; a miraculous era in which our smartphones and network-accessible Web services and 3-D printers and Uber-on-demand-everything have made us all veritable demigods. The amazing things we will do with these superpowers will overwhelm the naysayers who worry about inequality and job loss and economic decline. With our new superhuman abilities, we will all be mighty Avengers, equipped to save the world from any possible crisis, and able to develop our individual potentials to the highest maximum.


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"Because Marc Andreessen is hardly alone in tech circles in his passion to imbue the fruits of the computer age with ecstatic digital millennialism. The Rapture is coming -- only it will be delivered not by Jesus, but the Silicon Chip! At its most grandiose outer reaches, the rhetoric encompasses the dreams of post-Singularity immortality spun by the likes of Ray Kurzweil, who is convinced that it won't be long before we free ourselves from all mundane restrictions by downloading our consciousnesses into the matrix. (Seriously.) But on the opposite end of the spectrum, the new tech zealots display annoying habit of applying the same rhetoric to the most trivial of exercises. Consider the start-up that calls itself Superhuman – it produces software that allows you to seamlessly update your calendars via email. (Seriously?)"

I know I can't live without the ability to update my calendar via email. I don't know how my pc is going to grab a pen and write on my wall calendar, however.

#1 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-08 04:30 PM | Reply | Flag:

In the myth of Eden, human beings lived in an ordered world and were immortal. They gave that up for knowledge. What do we aspire with that knowledge? To order the world to our will and to gain immortality.

#2 | Posted by Grendel at 2014-07-09 10:19 AM | Reply | Flag:

Well said, Grendel. The myths of Prometheus and Icarus are also relevant here.

#3 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-09 10:53 AM | Reply | Flag:

"To order the world to our will and to gain immortality."

And to dominate nature. One of the basic problems with Christianity. The Bible justifies a utilitarian view of nature, unlike say, non-theist Buddhism.

#4 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-09 03:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

I haven't read the article, Nulli. Was the word the author came up with "hubris"?

#5 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-07-09 03:24 PM | Reply | Flag:

"I haven't read the article, Nulli. Was the word the author came up with "hubris"?"

Read the article and find out.

#6 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-09 03:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Read the article and find out."

#6 | Posted by nullifidian

Sure, read the article. ON MY COMPUTER!

Luddite Fail.

#7 | Posted by Harry_Powell at 2014-07-09 03:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

That's a fallacious response. It's ad hominem tu quo que.

#8 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-09 03:55 PM | Reply | Flag:

What Andressen presents is IMO, no different than the fantasy that Marx presented.

Nulli, as usual goes off half cocked.

Technology is incredible, the ability to update a calendar from around the world is lost on those that haven't travelled around the world. My ability to stay connected to my friends while on a European tour is lost on those that can't.

I don't need the technology but the ability sure makes me feel more connected about significant events in my life.

Nulli, has to admit technology has made the world a better place.

#9 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-07-09 05:55 PM | Reply | Flag:

"I don't need the technology but the ability sure makes me feel more connected about significant events in my life."

Maybe you should send selfies from your European tour. I'm sure that will make it more authentic.

#10 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-07-09 06:22 PM | Reply | Flag:

These guys need a reason to explain their existence. They also need a reason to explain their vast amounts of wealth.

A good explanation is that they deserve it for bringing the masses out of their caves so they could stare into their palms.

#11 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-07-10 01:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

"But what he fails to mention is that, when everyone has superpowers, that's the same as nobody having superpowers, and the same social inequities that give some people advantages over others will reassert themselves. The advantages of class, wealth and location don't vanish."

To me, this says it all.

What television was to the last half of the 20th century; the internet is to the new millennium. It's the new "Boob-Tube"(remember that word). Despite all the pleasurable, time-wasting, diversion it gives,(new opium of the masses?) most of us are still just working stiffs with the same old problems.

#12 | Posted by shane at 2014-07-10 04:46 PM | Reply | Flag:


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