[iDC] Don Tapscott's Wikinomics: A Dismal Netology?

Sam Ladner samladner at gmail.com
Thu Aug 23 12:02:26 UTC 2007


Thanks so much for the reference to the di Lampedusa principle. I can't
believe in all my travels I haven't come upon it.

FWIW, I am in full agreement with your evaluation of Tapscott. I have met
him, over years, several times up here in Toronto. "Growing Up Digital" was
the most simplistic piece of technological analysis I think I've ever read.
In that book, he suggests the this "new generation" is so "wired" that we
can't possibly keep up.

I think he mistakes "wired" for "ignorant of technology." Indeed, a recent
piece of work I read suggested that youth do in fact not "see" technology.
In my experience teaching undergraduates, they are not tech savvy at all --
disconnect their Wi-Fi and they are lost.

In Wikinomics, I believe Tapscott is actually more cynical. I don't think he
sees collaborative media as truly "transcendent."

No, I think Tapscott wants to make money. That's it. I think he thought to
himself, "How can I scare companies with money enough to get a lucrative
book deal AND consulting contracts?" This ties very much into "everything
must change so nothing changes" idea.

Of course this is just my humble opinion. And of course I am cynical and
while not a technological determinist, doubtful of course of any object's
ability to "transcend" anything else. I have doubts that transcendent
technology actually exist. This is evocative of Kantian transcendence to me
and of course I doubt that deeply. I am more of phenomenologist in my
approach. What does technology disguise or obscure?

Trebor's notions around immaterial labour certainly qualify here --
collaborative media do obscure the free labour that goes into them. And also
Wikis. Their collaborative veneer disguises the elitist participation in
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