Digital Britain Afterthoughts

Posted by on Apr 18, 2009 in Uncategorized | No Comments


24 hours on, the experience of DB is now beginning to make sense to me (maybe I'm just slow)

On the one hand, I think I'm now beginning to understand the obsession (both on the day and in the interim report) with plumbing, content manufacturing and content distribution (and the preponderance of grey suits that Joanne pointed out in the twitterstream). It's all about the benjamins: this where the money and the power and the status quo is today.

On the other, it's equally clear why the future that digital technology brings is hard for these folks to understand: many of the people and companies represented yesterday are paid to keep the current model going and just don't want to see the digital technology as anything but a means to turbo-charge the current model. It's just too scary to contemplate anything else.

Whereas of course (as I've mentioned before) the point about digital technology is that it changes the game entirely: it's not a means of the connecting of people to people that changes everything. The digitial revolution is going to be about the emergent stuff that arises from this phenomenon and our success in connecting ourselves to each other in new and ever more interesting and intuitive ways.

This I think explains why what Anthony Lilley & Stephen Fry [Huzzah!] had to say contrasted so markedly with what the likes of Lucien, Sly, and Caroline had to say. Each of the latter lead a business with just about the most to lose from the reality of peer-to-peer; each of the former delights in and is empowered by the new world. No wonder the representatives on the status quo are insisting on last ditch defence (frankly, they sounded ridiculous yesterday)

But be assured of this: the revolution is on its way. The question is whether we can get this nation working with it rather than resisting it – pretending it's not going to happen – in time to take advantage of it (rather than having to play catch up). I'm up for the challenge, anyway.

One other thing: I think I now know understand why the status quo have to be involved in consultation. No government would be able to ignore these folks. Not just because there are some plumbing questions to sort which only they can do, but because you'd want to believe that some of these businesses at least could evolve their way through the singularity that's approaching; that even if they crumble (as they probably will) that they'd be likely to spawn successors in the new digital, p2p world. And to be honest, they're a key part of the ecosystem. 

PS Here's the FAKE report. If you've got something to say, do so, please