This started out as comment to Shannon Paul’s post. Then, it got too long and so now here it is. Enjoy, but you probably have to read hers first.
Absolutely we are creating new silos! Technology changes; people don’t.
The one really cool part of studying literature is how fascinating it is to see how humans are slaves to the “human condition” (I think the kids are now calling this the Universal Idea) The same pride, jealousy, love, angst, lust, rapture, power, etc that tormented Plato is playing out the same with tweople on Twitter.
That is why the “paperless office” never happened and probably never will. That is why the “twitter elite” emerged from a supposedly flat communication pool. That is why some people get to speak at SXSW and others are home writing comments on blog posts. 🙂
The human condition is why there is no real difference between the Trojan War and the Iraqi War. No matter how much military history was studied, it is all about one group of human beings imposing their will on another. Same war, different players no matter what marketing spin you put on it. (This is not a political comment, merely historical, so don’t waste time arguing this point, please or you will miss the larger one.)
If you could live long enough, say 2,000 years, you would see how all of this arcs. But we’re each given a few decades to scurry around and make as much of a personal mark on the timeline of humanity with whatever tools we have. (500 years ago, it was how many copies of a printed Bible I had. Now, it is how many followers I have on Twitter.) We may THINK we’re coming in to help change the world, but we’re really coming in, hoping to pee on a piece of Internet space and that others will see us pee and recognize our space. Then, the goal is to expand our pee range before others pee where we want to pee before we die or get bumped off by younger, faster, better-looking puppies. (excuse the metaphor. I’m a dog.)
Why the idea of technology breaking down barriers is even part of the argument just shows the naivete some people have of the power of the human condition over us. Or maybe it shows the facet of hope in the human condition. Or maybe it is the fuel that keep us peeing instead of laying down and dying in despair.