Technology’s Cycle of Newness: Why Web Browsing Hasn’t Died
TheAtlantic.com editor challenges Chris Anderson’s view of the Internet's evolution.
Critiquing Chris Anderson’s idea that the Web is dying a slow death at the hands of streamlined technologies, The Atlantic.com’s Alexis Madrigal* presents some cogently strong counterarguments. First and foremost, he says that the browser-based web “is still experiencing substantial growth,” linking to BoingBoing’s Rob Beschizza’s “excellent recasting of Wired’s data” as visual evidence in support of this fact.
That said, Madrigal does not take issue with Anderson’s prediction that the web may in fact lose steam. Eventually. His primary objection is to Anderson’s interpretation of technological advancement as a continuous cycle of domination. By citing a series of compelling historical examples, he instead suggests that innovation is based less on the need for constant competition and more on the development of symbiotic coexistence. A perspective, he says, that highlights the benefit and “fundamental value of having a historical sense about technology. It leads you away from making grand sweeping statements about how things must go.”