The opportunity to challenge traditional means of knowledge production and distribution appeals more to those outside of the structures of authority (e.g., academy, government). New media allow the masses to redefine what is creative and what is deemed valuable, and therefore worthy of continued circulation, discussion, and distribution. This of course, is not without its pitfalls–offensive, racist or sexist material may be “voted” up and legitimated through the “wisdom of the crowd”.
During his State of the Union address President Obama placed special emphasis on technology as an underlying force driving change in our economy. Before laying out his vision of a new era of American innovation, Obama noted that “thirty years ago, we couldn’t know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution.” While I was happy to hear the president talk about the internet and the promise of technology, I couldn’t help feeling that the focus on “winning the future” through innovation was a way to bypass dealing with today’s difficult challenges.