And that second case really annoys me, but I'd still rather not take the alternative to a free market, which is that idiots and douchebags decide what's good for me, and leave me with even less choice.
People used to read 500 page books on compilers. Would you read an equivalently long blog article on compilers?
With the Internet we've gained the ability to more readily acquire knowledge in little bits at a time, over a lot of areas. But most of us are incapable of reading a really huge article in depth. And thus we get more shallow levels of understanding, but across a wider range of topics. This explains a lot of arguments on the internet.
> But most of us are incapable of reading a really huge article in depth
It's not a "capability", it's a skill. The problem is it's becoming less and less important in everyday life for most people, which in turn makes them abandon its training. As with most skills, without training you become worse at it with time.
I'm not sure if that's good or bad thing that you can now learn without having mastered this skill. Is the understanding you gain via lots of small chunks of knowledge worse than the one you get from reading The Dragon Book? I don't know; looks like a good topic for research in cognitive science.
Personally I do like reading long and involved texts, but I too learned to enjoy it before the Internet became popular. I don't know if I'd be equally interested in such texts had I started just a few years later.
Interesting. From the perspective of a total outsider far away from the United States, I always thought the Valley's tech scene was strangely sort of cult-like, in a way. It seems that there's really no limit to commercialisation, and spirituality is next in line to be 'designed' into a product and either sold to people, or will sell users' spirituality to advertisers, insurers and political parties.
The article is not necessarily scientific in that I'm not sure how you'd test or falsify the ideas, but at the same time it's a very interesting and perhaps very useful philosophical piece.
Often, ideas for science come from logically robust philosophical reasoning. I mean, sometimes they come from freak accidents also. But there's definitely validity in the simple (and awesome) exploration of cool ideas, as long as it's logically consistent.
The multiple agents idea gave me a weird momentary spell of depersonalisation, which was interesting. It's certainly compelling and not really incompatible with modern scientific understanding - it seems a plausible abstraction/description considering the way the brain is known to be wired together.