Undoing the Industrial Revolution (22 Nov 2004)
In the virtual world, you win by being good: Automation reduces the benefits of scale, the Internet equalizes distribution, and reputation follows from quality rather than incessantly repeated slogans.
I'm talking here about a level of experience that goes beyond the concept of user experience that I usually write about. The switch from centralization to decentralization goes to the heart of the human experience. And because the switch will drive up quality, it will tend to be a force for good.
We typically overestimate what can be done in the short term. Improvements seem so close we can smell them, but human behavior and social institutions are slow to change. At the same time, we underestimate what will happen in the long term, because changes accumulate and accelerate.
Article URL: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20041122.html
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