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In Praise of 2009

“No one likes the starry-eyed techno-optimists. After all, the automobile was a revolution too, as was the television, and the radio. Most of us find our skins crawling a bit when people compare the current moment to Gutenberg inventing the printing press. It seems historically presumptuous, somehow. But the impulse to remain calm in the face of technological change is also an invitation to downplay the things that change our everyday lives the most. And for all that the decade's terror attacks and wars and bubbles did us terrible damage, none of them did nearly as much to transform the average American's everyday life as the rise of the net. My sense is that when all is said and done, just as the 1990s weren't quite as calm and meaningless as some believed, the events of the Aughts weren't quite as transformative as they seemed. Indeed, I'd much rather be alive in 2010 than in 2000. Technology has made this a better year to live in even as the intervening years have been bad ones for the country. Our future will have a lot more to do with the internet than with Iraq.”
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