In an interview in Salon, Jaron Lanier talks about how technology changes have disrupted the middle class in this country.
So Kodak has 140,000 really good middle-class employees, and Instagram has 13 employees, period. You have this intense concentration of the formal benefits, and that winner-take-all feeling is not just for the people who are on the computers but also from the people who are using them. So there’s this tiny token number of people who will get by from using YouTube or Kickstarter, and everybody else lives on hope. There’s not a middle-class hump. It’s an all-or-nothing society.
Ever talk to a professional photographer in his mid-50’s? How about a mid-career librarian or an editor, who have seen their professional worlds shrink? I love the Internet. You know I do. But this bounty of free information and resources have destroyed the old ways of making a proper buck, and I’m not seeing new professions stepping in to take the place of the old.