Gutenberg vs. Zuckerberg

By Shlomo Maital   

   In the 15th C.,  Jacob Gutenberg invented printing – and the world changed forever.  Ideas could be preserved on paper and disseminated widely.  A kind of new marketplace was created – a market for ideas.  Some ideas, in some books, were short-lived. Others became immortal.  The test was the people who consumed and invested in those ideas.   

    In February 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook at Harvard, as an on-line class yearbook.  And the world changed, again.  For the better?  Probably not.  We now have a new digital social media market for ideas… and truth has taken a vacation.  You can put any idea up on social media, and find those who will believe it, because they choose to.  The Gutenberg market for value-creating ideas has been in large part replace by the Zuckerberg market for false fake harmful destructive ideas (like, vaccines have microchips in them). 

     I don’t know if there is any way to fix a world, in which fewer people read books, while more and more people rely on their information on digital sites, many of which are doubtful.  And in fewer than two years, we will mark two decades of social media.  It took Gutenberg’s printing press decades, centuries, to impact the world for good, and just mere moments for social media to pollute truth.

     Just an old guy complaining  about the ‘good old days’?   Probably.