Op-Ed Columnist - Lord of the Memes - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com --Here's a marvelous piece of good-natured, high-spirited bombast from David Brooks, dancing around the idea of "epochs of intellectual affectation," as he prances through how the pith of McLuhan's thought has now come home to roost for most of us. A snippet:
But on or about June 29, 2007, human character changed. That, of course, was the release date of the first iPhone.
On that date, media displaced culture. As commenters on The American Scene blog have pointed out, the means of transmission replaced the content of culture as the center of historical excitement and as the marker of social status.
Now the global thought-leader is defined less by what culture he enjoys than by the smartphone, social bookmarking site, social network and e-mail provider he uses to store and transmit it. (In this era, MySpace is the new leisure suit and an AOL e-mail address is a scarlet letter of techno-shame.)
Today, Kindle can change the world, but nobody expects much from a mere novel. The brain overshadows the mind. Design overshadows art.