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ベストセラーライターKurt Andersenインタビュー: この20年, 文化の変化がなかったのはなぜか

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クリスマスからお正月までのあいだには、それほどいろんなことは起きない。それは誰もが知っている。でも、あまり知られていないのは、最近の20年間で、文化的にはほとんど何も起きていないことだ。たしかに、この期間には、’技術的’には大きな変化があったが、’文化的’には新しいものがほとんどない。ライターでテレビのキャスターでもあるKurt Andersenによると、私たちは今でも、80年代の終わりごろと同じ音楽を聴き、同じようなテレビ番組を見て、同じスタイルの服を着て、同じ種類の車に乗り、同じような家に住んでいる。

Andersenはこれを、文化の氷河期と呼び、その原因が、技術の急速な変化と、その変化の全社会的な浸透にある、と述べている。先週本誌がSkypedでインタビューしたとき彼は、人間の創造力のすべてが技術革新に向かい、そのために文化のそのほかのすべての分野で、イノベーションが凍結した、と語った。どうやらAndersenは、インターネットがすべてを変えていくことによって、技術革新がもたらした創造力の破壊のまっただ中で、文化が、それに流されないための錨(いかり)になる、と言いたいらしい。

今回は、二部から成るAndersenインタビューの第一部だ。明日(米国時間12/29)は、彼はTime誌の「2011年の人」…The Protester(抗議者、異議申し立て者)について語る。

[ビデオトランスクリプトは英文ママ]

A few months ago we had the music writer, Simon Reynolds, on my show, on the TechCrunch TV show talking about how we haven’t had much new music for the last forty years. Today we’re going to go one or two steps further. We have much cultural times, Curt Anderson welcome to TechCrunch TV.

Happy to be here.

So Curt, you wrote a very provocative piece in Vanity Fair month talking about how the world, in many respects, is standing still. What do you mean by that? Well, it was based on on an observation that, I don’t know, occurred to me a couple of years ago. So this has been germinating in my mind for a while.

And really it was that compared to any time in my lifetime, which is now more than half a century. And then as I begin to think any twenty year period in the last century or more or, the way things look, the surfaces of things, whether it’s the way people dress, groom themselves, the way [xx] first look and then the way things are designed and then as I saw the way pop music sounds the way architecture look It really extends pretty far.

I believe that we’ve never seen less change in a period of this time in 20 years. As I say, in a century. Now, at the beginning of this piece, appropriately for TechCrunch, I have this big carve out. I say, well technology aside and as I’ve said to friends that’s a little bit like but other than that Mrs. Lincoln how did you enjoy the play.

But. Right. Technology aside struck and remain struck even after people have commented on my piece at how strikingly little the worlds of designed artifacts of cultural stuff have changed, and And again, comparing it to any other 20-year period. I mean, pick your period in the 20th Century, and I think you’ll, anybody, reasonably, will find more Change would have occurred in that previous twenty year period.

What I found particularly intriguing about your piece was this, were these two parallel worlds that you presented, first the unchanging cultural world and this world of ever changing technology and of course you connect the money, you may even be arguing It’s all this technological change which is in some ways the root of the reason why culture isn’t changing.

What is the relationship between this incessant technological change and development and the more pedestrian nature of our culture.

Well, there are a couple. And I’m throwing out. This is a, this is a a work in progress, as all work is of course. And I’m throwing out various theories. One thing I think is that people in general are having to come to grips with so much change in the way they communicate by virtue of technology.

Geopolitically and the nature of whether they work. The nature of work and the nature of social safety nets and all this stuff that has changed profoundly in the last 20 years. I think the appeal of the familiar is part of that as a kind of. Well, we can hold on this one thing and I’ll still wear jeans and sneakers and I’ll still watch TV shows that are like the TV shows that I watched 20 years ago.

And I’ll still drive a car that doesn’t look so different and all that. I think that another way in which the technology and this sort of stasis are connected, I think, on a creative level. a lot more of the innovative, creative energy of America and the West are going into You know, working technology, that perhaps in the past went in to making graphic design.

New and radically different then it was a few years before making fashion different and all that so I think there’s a couple of different ways in which it’s not coincidental that we’ve had the extraordinary technological changes of the last 15 years and this very peculiar freeze in other kinds of cultural professors in sounds and field.

Christopher Hitches dies last week, and he was of course considered perhaps the most powerful cultural critic and thinker and writer of what we might think of as the old analogue order. When is the digital world going to create a Christopher Hitchins? When are writers and filmmakers and musicians going to catch up with all this technological change?

Well, it’s a very good question. And some parts of our, it is in the nature a bit so far, of the digital world where we have all these proliferating fractured audiences. It makes it difficult for any individual like Chris Hitchins, of the Chris Hitchins of now, or anyone else, to achieve the kind of sensuality, traction, impact that was, these are therefore prolific commentators, writers, whatever kinds of cultural figure to achieve, you know, until the late 90’s.

So, it’s the nature of the digital age is that, it is harder for there to be nine hundred pound gorillas of the cultural realm.

Is it possible to argue because when one wants to be a pessimist, not of course that I am one, that technology is the new culture and that culture will eventually go away to be replaced by technology. Steve Jobs is the new rock star. The iPod or the iPhone is the new Beatles White Album You know, I don’t know if that’s pessimistic.

I think it’s an overstatement. I think certainly just as, you know, A 100 years ago people would talk about, the electrical this or the electrical that. And then, by the 30’s or 40’s somewhere into the twentieth century people stop saying electrical that was simply implied everything was electrical.

I think that the track of technology is such that it becomes the platform, the means, the set of tools with which all culture is produced what cultural artifacts are, how a song sounds, how a novel reads, how a movie is, all those things still have, it is still worth talking about those things. And I think, in fact, if anything, technology will cease to be so central to the way we think and talk about culture, as it becomes the water in which we swim, even more than it is now.

Where do you think we are caught in the revolution recycle of technology? The internet has obviously changed communication and culture. It seems like we are on the brink of a series of very profound technological revolutions, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence. Are we still in the.

No, there’s no question and I think it’s a fool’s errand to try to say, we’re in early days, middle days, late days. I think we would all be on pretty solid ground to say it’s not late days. I’m you know as somebody who has been in the media realm in various iterations It is interesting to me. I would say, fifteen years ago, people who recognized in the media world that an earthquake was happening.

said ‘O.K. This will last a while.’ I don’t think anybody thought that it would be still shaking and rocking and rolling fifteen years in. So I think that the sense of flux in this specific part of it, the media entertainment world, is, if not early, probably early and certainly no further along than middle days.

And so I think we still have, you know, years to go. And then as far as the industrial nanotechnologies and medical biotechnologist and the rest. Clearly, clearly, very early days. And, and I think as with all things, people are still so unfamiliar with the, with the new ways of living, whether it’s something as banal as cell phone protocol and dinner, and onto and up to including our computers created, when do they get creative, and all the way up to the Ray Kurosawa notions of singularity, you know, 28 years hence.

I have a question Carl. You seem naturally demanding you are rising to be an optimist, especially a technological optimist. But I do know perhaps a creeping element of pessimism. Finally, optimists or pessimists, in terms of this new world, that all this technology is created optimist, if those are the choices optimist but sort of a 51 percent optimist, I wold say Kurt Andersen, fifty one percent optimist.

I look forward to talking to you about the other forty nine percent on another show. Thank you so much for appearing on Tech Crunch TV. My pleasure.

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