Building bridges, building islands

Building bridges, building islands
: The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman got it wrong today in his column on Google as God.

He fears that the Internet will lead to more islands, more hatred, more collections of groups doing bad.

But I see the exact opposite happening. I even preached about it today. I see more connections, more bridges, thus fewer islands. I see Iranians and Americans talking; I see Iraqis beginning to tell their stories to the world; I see Israelis communicating their viewpoint; I see good coming of all this.

The byte is half-full, Mr. Friedman, not half-empty. The Internet — and particularly, weblogs — brings connections, not disconnections, understanding, not misunderstanding.

  • good point! i agree…

  • bill sebring

    friedman’s point is not that islands drive out connections: just the opposite. bad connections prosper alongside good connections, and that’s not good. a top-down plan to address isolation is required in parallel with a bottom-up approach [which encompasses weblogs].

  • button

    I just read it through your link. Earlier, I noticed it was on Blogdex, I believe.
    Sorry, but I find it to be the usual T.Friedman double-talk which he specializes in. Am I being too cynical? Maybe. But when I think of Friedman, this is the kind of thing I associate with him. Hope you’re not reading this, TF, as I don’t mean to hurt your feelings.
    Typical of TF, it’s so diffusely equivocal, that you come out of it without being clear about any important point. I mean, so what does he want us to do? We are already trying to forge connections, some of which can be mighty elusive. I don’t think he’s making an important point, but I’m glad that he enjoyed his visit to Google.

  • well technically, the byte is either full or empty…

  • Wait just a second! Since when are you a preacher?

  • The piece is certainly one of the more poorly-thought-out Friedman columns ever. The “God is wireless” stuff is particularly absurd. For an extended, if tongue-in-cheek, analysis of the piece, click the “amy’s robot” link below.
    (Sorry if this is a little spam-like…we just had a lot to say on the topic, and I couldn’t find trackback.)