Army of One
Glenn Reynolds's "Army of Davids" preaches the gospel of techno-utopia.
11:00 PM, Mar 16, 2006 • By ANDREW KEEN
The secret to success in big business and politics in the twenty-first century, I think, will involve figuring out a way to capitalize on the phenomenon of lots of people doing what they want to do, rather than--in previous centuries--figuring out ways to make lots of people do what you want them to do.
Perhaps the future will be like the 1970s, with the self once more supremely ascendant. In this digitalized idyll, wi-fi will replace marijuana and the ashram will be transformed into the always-on Internet café. But the countercultural imperatives of nonjudgementalism and laissez-faire morality will remain. As Reynolds notes in a section entitled "The Kids Are Alright," "Porn and video games. That's what's making American teens healthier." (Reynolds tells us that teenage pregnancy, teen crime, and drug use are all down which, he asserts, must be the result of teenagers spending all their time online playing video games and looking at pornography.)
THE REVOLUTION, Glenn Reynolds promises in An Army of Davids might well be inevitable. Even shunting aside notions of exceptionalism and cultural excellence, the idea of personal empowerment wrapped up in Reynolds's man-without-walls worldview is certainly seductive. But it would do readers well to remember that revolutions have consequences.
Andrew Keen is a veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur and digital media critic. He blogs at TheGreatSeduction.com and has recently launched aftertv.com, a podcast chat show about media, culture, and technology.