Sgt Pepper, tech-utopians, and the way forward from here.

The definitive statement of 1960s psychedelia helped invent internet culture. And it wants us to stop with the simple-minded tech-utopianism.

I Fell Into a Dream

So first, why has SP got anything to do with online culture in 2017?

I Was Wrong About That

These days if you roll in Silicon Valley, attend TED conferences or are part of the Davos set, it’s compulsory to call yourself an optimist. That part of the counterculture inheritance has become so mainstream that is is now ubiquitous.

‘I thought once everybody could speak freely and exchange information and ideas, the world is automatically going to be a better place. I was wrong about that.’

That’s huge. When some historian 50 years from now comes to write the intellectual history of the internet, that quote would make for a great place to end one Part I. I think it’s the first time that any tech titan has so openly repudiated the New Optimism, and has ever explicitly questioned the idea that the technologies being built in Silicon Valley automatically and inevitably make the world better.

The Way Forward

It’s great we can now all share ideas online. It also creates some radical new problems for our democracies as they are currently constituted.

Founder at New World Same Humans | World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Consumption

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