I want to talk about how the technology for experiencing media is becoming more personal, and less communal, but I'm not sure where to put this. I have another blog, Art/Tech Fusion, that's focused on the intersection of art and technology, and how they affect each other. That seems like a good place to talk about the impact of personal technology on the experience of various art forms (music, movies, etc.)
However, this blog is a great place to just gripe about stuff, so this is a good place to complain about drivers too busy talking on their cell phones to look where they're going, and pedestrians reading email while walking clumsily down the sidewalk.
So I guess I'll talk about it in both places.
So at the risk of looking like a total fan, I'll mention another David Brooks column from yesterday's New York Times. Brooks contrasts individualist cultures, such as our European heritage, with collectivist ones, such as China, Japan and other Asian cultures. Our technology seems to be furthering individualism by making everything personal. We watch TV, listen to iPods, and work on personal computers and laptops. Everything's so intimate.
The collectivist cultures, on the other hand, put more emphasis on obligation and cooperation. One would expect technology in these cultures to promote public experiences like movies, concerts and other performances with large audiences.
And yet, where does all this personal technology come from? Remember the Sony Walkman?