The title The Illusion of More is a response to the promise of the digital age that more would necessarily be better. More content, more information, more access, and more interaction would ultimately produce more freedom, more democracy, more cultural diffusion, more innovation, and so on. According to some, the evolution of the Internet would ultimately fuse with human evolution itself, allowing us to transcend even our own mortality. To be sure, we seem to have accomplished the more part, but whether it’s all for the better is a question worth asking.
Now that we’re just about 20 years into the digital age, and the babies born to the sound of dial-up modems are young adults who’ve never known life without the Web, it seems like a good time to explore some of the best and the worst of what we’re making of this technology. In no way is this site meant to be an all-out assault on the Internet, but it’s rare that disruptive technologies are not double-edged swords. With all the feeding we do now via technology — everything from fragmentary glimpses into our friends‘ lives, to anytime/anywhere consumption of entertainment and news — it is hard not to wonder if something inherently human isn’t getting lost in the flurry. Are we, as Jaron Lanier warns, “becoming gadgets” ourselves?
The Illusion of More is part original editorial, part investigation. Many individuals have written or spoken about the issues raised here long before IOM existed, and it is the aim of this site to bring their voices here, particularly in the form of audio podcast interviews. Your participation is welcome. Feel free to submit written pieces and comments, and/or suggested topics, people, and events of interest.