A revolution in perception

The globalization of media and the proliferation of telecommunications will allow for a break on the hold of traditional media and the view that it purports. Media will become universal and democratic. Many points of view, hundreds or even thousands of points of view, will all be given equal weight. In this new landscape, the information consumer will pick and choose among the vast landscape of information, brought to them through agent software that reflects their very personal perspective.

Neither the State nor the Networks in the name of Democracy can control media content. The whole situation is a floodgate of awareness, because the implications of hundreds or thousands of perspectives being simultaneously available are the seeds of a revolution in perception. That is, the viewer becomes a powerful editor of their own reality. Responsibility for perception shifts from media owners to media perceivers. In turn, the perceivers themselves may add to the overall mix of media, through an increasingly powerful public access infrastructure.

The whole situation will call into question the current media power structures. Technical expertise and understanding of how to create "commercial" media will be in many ways usurped by the ability to resonate powerful truths above the mass of mere information. Media manipulation will become increasingly easy to perceive, call in to question, and address. There will be no secrets anymore, unless we want them because we fear the responsibility of self-awareness. On the other hand, truth will be harder to decipher, and more valuable when it is found. Truth will stand out not through any single perception, any one artist, priest or purveyor of enlightenment, but in the cracks between those perceptions. Relativity becomes not only theory, but perceptual fact, moving from the brain of Einstein to the mass consciousness.

—excerpt from "The Digital Tribe," article by Don Thompson, 1993