Discipline & Control


An op/ed piece by David Brooks accidentally (i suppose) lays out the very differences within the distinction DISCIPLINE vs. CONTROL.

Brooks musings point out the hierarchical structure of book reading. That there are books which are perennial as well as those a person would read as a guilty pleasure at the beach or on vacation.

But he also points out the enclosedness of the literary culture. That when one becomes a reader, one ENTERS a new realm of doing things where one goes from novice to master.

On the other hand, the Internet as “new media”–which I have been describing as the very assemblage (bank) of knowledge necessary for the Control Society–“…is supposedly savvier than the old media. The dominant activity is free-wheeling, disrespectful, antiauthority disputation.”

What Brooks seems to be missing is that the older medium of books had itself overwhelmed the ancient society of sovreignty in which only those who were born to or raised to a certain level of authority could hope to be cultivated.

Just as the SocDisc kept what worked (or just would not die) from SocSov, so SocKont will keep books and virtual-books as well as some structures that just will not give up too soon from SocDisc.

Afterall, even in the internet age we still produce more pulp-faction (books whose worth only lies in their entertainment value or in the amount of information they contain, if they do contain real info) than we do classics. And almost every classic ever written since Gilgamesh already has multiple homes on the internet.

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