Digital Renaissance

Technology changes quickly. So much so that it can be hard to keep up with innovation. But this should be seen in a positive light. With each new innovation, it highlights man’s capacity to progress. However, as with any new way of thinking or new way of doing things comes along, there will always be those who prefer the old methods because it acts in their favour.

Lawrence Lessig writes about this in relation to the copyright wars in his book Free Culture. He discusses how the entertainment industry is struggling to readjust to the electronic environment that it’s finding itself in. Instead of adapting to the new situation, groups like the RIAA and the MPAA are simply trying to keep things the way they were before the Internet made it possible to access and share all kinds of content. They are trying to arrest development.

Another example of this would be the position of net neutrality that I wrote about in the last post. It’s large governing bodies looking to deter advancements in order to hold onto and safeguard the disproportionate control that they enjoy. It’s the dominate looking to keep the dominated submissive. It’s hegemony.

But the times they are a-changing.

As we move farther into an electronic culture, more ways are becoming available to allow people to step out of their dominated position. Henry Jenkins names this time as the “digital renaissance,” and as with any renaissance or revolution, unease and discord can be expected. However, when both sides of the battle are able to find agreement, I’m sure that we’ll see that we’re better for it, and a new “cultural order will emerge” (Jenkins).

Jenkins, Henry. “Convergence? I Diverge.” June 2001. Technology Review. 24 Nov. 2008. <;.

Lessing, Lawrence. Free Culture: the Nature and Future of Creativity. New York: Penguin Books, 2004.


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