I’m in Croatia now. It’s nice here – but a bit hot, and I’m exhausted from a day of arguing with German journlaists. Everyone here wants to talk and party. I’m just too exhausted to oblige, and I have two talks to do here that I want to save my energy for.
My host asked me a question that bummed me out a bit. Something about all my ideas existing online, already, and me simply commercializing them with books. Hard to know exactly how to attack such an accusation. Even if it were true (which it’s not, since I began writing before the Internet was really around) it troubled me from a number of perspectives. Mostly, that the ‘counter culture’ is supposed to have a monopoly on media literacy. That’s the kind of thinking that keeps the counter culture counter.
I think the object of the game is to spread good ideas as far and wide as possible. Convince everyone – not just the people we like – to think for themselves, share their thoughts, publish their ideas in whatever format they can. A book like Coercion, for example, which attempts to untangle the marketing dream in which so many people are living, is much more important for people at the mall to read than people at the cybercafe. It’s easy – maybe too easy – to exchange ideas with the other leftie intellectuals at the coffee house. The hard part is getting mom and dad, Mr. and Mrs. Gap, or the people marketing Starbucks to understand the real dangers of communicating in a coercive fashion, and to think for themselves instead of letting some corporation’s bottom line think for them.
We’ll see what happens tonight. I really do hope the audience is more interested in my ideas than talking about me.