Making Information Faster, Easier, “Stupider”

There was an interesting trend in the three videos shown. Each took place in a different decade, and each were able to envision a more accurate future as more technology came around.

Back in the 1980s, the industry giants in journalism had already started picturing their futures; before even the word internet was a household name, these newspapers had the idea of transporting their services across the globe on electronic devices. This technological forecast was the easiest yet most crucial one out of all three videos; as of today we are reading the latest headlines from newspaper all across the globe electronically.

The Tablet Newspaper was certainly the most eye opening video of all. It was insane to think people twenty years ago had such an accurate grasp over how news would be consumed today. The idea of the “local kiosk” does seem ridiculous today, but the widespread use of wifi and mobile data was something that very few could have fathomed even ten years ago.

What Epic 2015 focused on was inherently different. It did talk about changes to the journalism industry with advancing technology, but it focused more on the future of journalistic content rather than platform more than the other two videos. The video predicted an algorithm EPIC, Evolving Personalized Information Construct, which would write and restructure news story based on available information: something that would make journalists themselves obsolete.

The following quote especially grabbed my attention:

“For too many, EPIC is merely a collection of trivia, much of it untrue, all of it narrow, shallow, and sensational.” -Epic 2015

Much like what I talked about my last post, there seems to be a wide spread misconception that the advent of advanced technology will somehow make people stupider. People simple love to trash journalism today through examples such as The Huffington Post in its earlier days and Buzzfeed today. However, the same people fail to realize that journalism seem “stupider” today because more people are reading. Percentages of Americans reading books have grown since the early 90s and is still growing today. Even before the rise of technology, before our ability to browse Buzzfeed lists on smart phones, yellow journalism and tabloid journalism already championed what the worst in the business could look like and will look like.

The biggest thing EPIC 2015 got wrong was not its dismissing the power of social networks or failing to predict the age of the smart phone, but reinforcing the notion that technology is making people stupider and more prone to sensational events.

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