Ignoring the media for real insights into change.

Bashing WiFi and the Broadcast Mentality [SATN]

More insights from Dan Bricklin at SATN. Here he offers some thought about the typically lazy thinking underlying most mainstream coverage of wi-fi. Twitting a recent article in the Boston Globe about the wi-fi bubble bursting he argues:

Sounds like the old “broadcast” mentality: Something isn’t interesting or valuable unless it provides a service that a big company can charge for. It seems the fact that millions of people are buying and installing (at their own expense) WiFi for their own purposes and not just to charge others is completely uninteresting to these pundits. This is like the thinking that P2P could only be used for sharing things that would otherwise be sold mass-market.

and he repeats an observation from David Reed:

As David Reed likes to point out, automobiles were user financed purchases. We didn’t turn the US into an automobile-centric society with taxis owned by the railroad companies. People bought their own cars for their own purposes, be it to visit friends, go “to the country” (an important, fun reason in the early days), tend to the sick (doctors were early adopters), shopping, commuting, etc.

Two things are going on here. One, the media is trying to atone for its breathless coverage during the dotcom bubble replacing the herd stampeding in one direction with a change in direction not a change in approach. Which reflects the second issue operating here. We’ve been enmeshed in a mass production/mass market economy for so long, that we’ve forgotten that it was an invention itself in response to particular technological changes.

Fortunately, I don’t rely on media coverage any more, I go to the sources such as SATN and other blogs.