Dear Mr. Huxley,
I am writing you from the brave new world. Some changes did take place during the last years and I am sure you will be pleased to know them.
The apocalyptic message of the digital revolution prophets vanished in the air after all. They were rushed into thinking that the new media would kill the old one. Both of them are coexisting now, being their relationship complex and unpredictable. Maybe these prophets underestimated the power of the customs already stablished. Or maybe they just took into account the technological face of the change, which has been the trigger but not the whole.
Now, a new theory has born trying to amend its predecessor’s main failures. Convergence. A simple word to explain the conversion of the world I used to know into this completely unknown brave new world. A word to convey multiple ideas. The blurring of boundaries between different technologies, services, markets, mediums, means, media and minds. The technological, economical and cultural substratum where the change lies and evolves. The inevitable divergence associated to any convergence. To set an example, the divergence in the face-to-face interpersonal relationships associated to the convergence in social media based relationships. Collateral damages that we are forced to accept as the new way of happiness.
The classical collective intelligence concept appears now attached to convergence, always considered from the most optimistic perspective: little individual intelligences collaborating to obtain the superior intelligence. But, as I said before, every convergence process is associated to a divergence process, and thus, the collective intelligence is inevitably associated to a collective stupidness. While the distributed intelligence system fortifies the global intelligence, it weakens the individual as a thinker and a free decision-maker. The comfort of feeling clever and strong as part of a collective intelligence makes the individual refuse to develop his own little but independent intelligence.
Another idea linked to convergence is that consumers play an active role in the process, breaking the traditional model where consumers just consumed and obeyed to companies. Consumers have now power to make decisions and to influence the market. But maybe it should be mentioned that this power is a half-truth. It is a power inside an obligation. Consumers have the power of make decisions more than ever, but always assuming that they consume. I am afraid we have already lost the right to not consume.
Anyway, Mr. Huxley, I know you are already death so I don’t want to disturb you anymore. I just want you to know that you were right in almost all your predictions.