There are now people in their mid to getting onto err advanced teens erm, who have never know obvious err a world without the web. That maybe 20, 20 year, 20 year olds who have never known anything about that. Have they developed strange thumbs? Do they have peculiar ways of talking and listening, do their eyes glaze over when they have to concentrate for more than 30 second, no I don't believe any of that. I'm not particularly negative or pessimistic, about the, the social qualities, the linguistic qualities the concentration qualities of generation web as they're called. Erm, I honestly believe that if you go back into 1920's and take an ordinary semi educated 15 year old and place him next an ordinary se, semi educated 15 year old how he would find the one knows more, understands more is more socially confident he's more aware of the rest of the world it's more able, and more adept to research erm. may not be able to say the 9 times table as fluently or repeat amos, amass, amat, amonst, aramtis amant. They may not be able to do that is that such a great loss to an old fashioned person like me. I'd love to think people can do both, but let, let's get real about this. Connection is what humans crave, it's what we are all about and something that separates us from animals it's even pre, it, it comes before the fact that we, we have language, because the language is an example of a, if you like a mural technology that we have, we have created to answer this need for connection. We are the social animal par excellence. Or, or by devil err if you like. Err if not necessarily excellence. Erm we are, constantly in need of, of connecting with people for, friendship, love, sex, knowledge, growth, enmity, territoriality all the, all the imperatives that drive us as human beings. Erm we've created villages and towns to help us do that and roads and now we've created something else that allows us to do it, us to do it even more.
Where people make their fundamental error and criticise all this I think it's a danger and it's reducing our capacity to act as proper human beings is they think it's all this. Either sit in front of a screen of some kind tapping away all your life, going lol and, and, and being childish and not writing in proper English sentences or, you sit in an old fashioned study with books and you read properly and you engage property and you go for walks. Well I do both! And most people do both, it is not one or the other. Now you may say I've have the advantage of a classical education I've grown up in the tradition which I've understood books and I've understood history and I've been interested in these things, and I like Latin and Greek and I you know and I like the smell of a proper book and so on. that's true but I make quite a lot of on line friends I, I don't even know gender seem of them are err they're people I chat with I, d you know I've the personal direct messaging in forums and err, and Twitter and so on. some of whom I think are very young, and you can sort of tell they are, and who astonish me in case with their knowledge, knowledge of, literature. In fact I was having a conversation just the other day with one, who was talking to me about Evelyn War and I think she's 12 and she seems to have ever book that ........... and have a very intelligent view of this great novelist. And at I almost wanted to say but how would someone who is 12 like you ever have read these books and I think what am I saying of course, of course they might have done and spend a lot of their time on, on a forum as well. It's not the two are not mutually exclusive.
Alex As social animals which you conjecture we are erm, we now err historically are interactions our relationships are, tribal capacities would have been walled, they would have been within the, the physical proximity and now there's there the opportunity to out reach via face book via Bebo via whatever social networking means that are available. How do you think this is going to affect the younger generation of growing up if they're able to have relationships that are purely on line based upon erm, communities practice, or ideals.
Stephen The human social history is being filled with inventions and developments and techniques, that have threatened the way we arranged ourselves. A very good example that seems so peculiar is that Anthony Trollope the English novelist best know for writing books on politics and the church, was also a civil servant of err, some importance and he invented the post box the pillar box, and he was distraught that his invention might undermine the Victorian family. Now at first this seems quite a why would it do that well until the time the pillar box arrived, the post box the little red thing we put a letter in a woman had never been able to write a letter and get it delivered without giving it either to a post man or to her father to be sent. A middle class woman had no ability to connect with the man except through the graces of her, parents particularly her father and Trollope who was a... although he was, a fine novelist and a and an innovative thinker, was a very traditionalist and he hated the idea that there were women commutating with men without their father knowing about it cause they could just slip a letter into a post-box. And similarly if you go back a little further to the time of Jane Austin, people found the idea of the novel simply horrific, people could not bear the idea of children sitting around and reading. They should be if they were going to read it would be sermons and history, certainly not novels and they should be going about the place, sitting up straight and err at dinner parties and err, and you know walking and being healthy and then of course along came radio and people couldn't bear the idea of people sitting around the radio and then television and then games and then computers and then and all these things seemed to those who were not brought up in them somehow to diminish because we're all so proud of our youth. We think our youth and our childhood are somehow if not perfect it was even if was imperfect it made us suffer how dare these children now not suffer the way I did. They should be having the kind I did made to read, made to do this, they should not have this freedom this access, or if they do, while I can approve of it, I ought to suggest that it's dangerous that it's going to while I can approve it, I ought to suggest that it's dangerous it's going to go wrong.
Well yeah I mean some genies when they're let out of the bottle can you know can cause problems and they certainly can't ever go back in the bottle. When cars first arose people were horrified at the deaths on the road, horrified they couldn't believe it, I mean there were, there were hundreds of people being, being squelched every day. It was grotesque and any you know if you just braked in a car at 30 miles a hour you'd kill yourself on the steering wheel you'd break your neck. People were dying all the time. Did they say oh that's it then? We can't have cars sorry. In the same way as if someone says actually mobile phones do give out microwaves and they will give you brain cancer are we going to say oh well that's, that's the end of that technology the? Not on your Nelly there's a risk reward ratio here and for us the reward is so great, that whatever the risk is we try and contain it and understand it at best but what we don't do is say the risk is too great.
The great question is whether or not the web is being a force for democratisation and whether it is made us all equal erm, there are those who will say the moment it became monetised as, this terrible word the way at the moment it became really commercialised, erm, the moment the large corporations that controlled the pipeline started to buy each other up, and started to get this huge erm, err mergers, that some how err the pioneering spirit went out of it in the freedom died. People would say erm, I'm not quite a cynical or quite as pessimistic as that I do genuine ally believe there is a, a dispensation in, in politics in the west that the focus the, the wait of authority has shifted that it used to be, the ballot box was the way people expressed themselves.
Now there is no focused way people express themselves on the internet, but I think that is the next challenge for democracy is to use the fact that this surely is the way that we can harness .............. the will of the people it, it seems to me that I'd a real threat to the established estates as they used to be called, the they're one of the four estates in .............. spiritual or the temporal the, the comments and the forth estate as it was always known. Err, the press the press has been deeply upset and worried of course by the, the how err particularly Google and aggregators of, of content that they have spent a lot of money assembling, have been able to distribute it freely in such that people now regard it as almost their right to have free news err if the, even if they're outside Britain it's not through the BBC and the, and their licence fee. So there's that side of it where the press feel somehow and they're authority is under threat and through things like twitter err, and, and face book individuals and celebrities and politicians are finding other mouthpieces other ways of connecting the new ............ cause it used to be that if you were, if you were a politician or a celebrity wanted to set the record straight or you wanted to sell a book or something you had to count out to the newspaper. Now you don't you simply ignore them, I mean if you, you know if you're a big American star you've got over a million followers. And there's no newspapers there provide you with the kind of coverage you can provide yourself and you can control it. err newspapers hate that, ............ speak to the contempt for the, for the stupidity and vanity of stars anyway. What we all share, and yeah about myself and that included naturally. Erm, erm, but being in it just takes away their power. So that's, that's the press's way. And that's why they're always trying to keep that is very uneasy relationship. On the one hand they mock it, so Twitter which is a good example when that arrived, the press said oh no, not ridiculous factious people telling you what they had for breakfast oh I did this, look at this Twitter stream by the moronic celebrity how boring is that? Two weeks later join our twitter stream at Daily whatever. You know and such is desperate, desperate to jump on it, absolutely and politicians the,, there are dozens of politicians who ............. dam why did I speak I had to go to Twitter just two months ago I said is was ............ and now it means I can't have my own Twitter stream and everyone else has an I'm ohh I'm loosing out. And how, how do I back kettle here you know because through no fault of their own I don't quite see how it was going to develop. This is the, I'm getting ......... because of what's happened with the internet and so that's the press. Then government, government is, is at much trickier one it's a much huger issue.