Federal

Dec 24, 2012

How the internet rewires the circuits of our public space — and you

The internet is changing Australian society, you, and even your own head -- and 2012 gave vivid emphasis of how that is happening. Crikey's man in Canberra on the politics and policy shifts.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

“We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.” — Marshall McLuhan, 1964

The bookmarkification — I’m by all means open to a better term than that — of human memory is well under way, isn’t it? We’re now remembering things differently to how we used to, because we know, as long as our internet connection is working, we can return and access something we need. The act of remembering and the act of retrieving has become the same. All we need now is a word for that vague sense of remembering seeing something, somewhere, on the internet, but being unable to re-locate it, or find it in your bookmarks or in your history. Googlenesia, perhaps.

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32 comments

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32 thoughts on “How the internet rewires the circuits of our public space — and you

  1. paddy

    Bloody good piece to wind up the year with Bernard.
    LOL Not disappoint either.
    Look forward to reading more when you’ve recharged the batteries. Cheers.

  2. CHRISTOPHER DUNNE

    Or to paraphrase another famous aphorism: when you stare into Google, Google also stares into you.

    A great piece to end the year Bernard, and a couple of lines that really cracked me up, especially about Clint’s theatre of the absurd and the “prostatetariat”; pure gems.

    Maybe 2013 will see the old white men finally move to the last stages of grief? Or maybe not.

    All the best to you and yours, and thanks for a good year of real journalism and ideas, well crafted.

  3. margo kingston

    Fascinating ‘rings-true’ piece. Was going to cancel my Crikey subscription – it seemed less edgy, more timid – but now I’ll persevere…

  4. sminney

    Excellent piece Bernard. We’ll done. Your tools are shaping up well.

  5. Gavin Moodie

    It will be interesting to see whether and if so how the internet changes the way people think. Writing did so by allowing people to assemble long sequences of thoughts. Printing did so by making memory far less important. Maybe the internet’s important change is allowing people to make multiple connections between objects, ideas and people.

  6. jmendelssohn

    Love “the rage of the prostatetariat”.
    What you, very modestly, didn’t mention is that in Australia the shredding of the old quality newspapers has been balanced by Crikey moving to take a central position in political/economic/media news and opinion.
    First Dog’s Walkley was not just because it was a stunning cartoon, but because the publication in which it appeared is now read by everyone who wants/needs to understand what is going on in Australia.
    A very good year indeed.

  7. Daly

    Thanks Bernard for a good year of informed comment. That’s not readily available elsewhere.

  8. joe2

    [Fascinating ‘rings-true’ piece.]

    Bernard has moved beyond the groupthink that infected him a while back. It’s good.

  9. susan winstanley

    Excellent Bernard.

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