Influential Digital Communities and How They Compare with the Past

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Paul Millerd shares the latest edition from his blog that explores the connections between the revolutionary and evolutionary writers in history with today’s dissemination of information on social media. He also shares a resource of links to today’s influential  inter-intellect sites. 

The meta-scenius and the future

Would Thoreau have convinced more people to move to Walden pond if he had Twitter?

That was the question I was thinking about as I read American Bloomsbury, a book about a “scenius” in the mid nineteenth century in Concord, Massachusetts.

“Scenius” was the term invented by Brian Eno that I became aware of because of Packy McCormick’s essay earlier this year. Packy was trying to understand what elements led to the emergence of famous “scenes” from history such as Scotland in the 1700s, Motown, and Silicon Valley.

As I read American Bloomsbury I was struck with how many now-famous authors happened to be living within a couple of blocks of each other.. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau and many others spent their days talking about their writing, carrying on about topics of the day and getting involved in a growing abolitionist movement.

However, most of the book highlights their shared turmoil and failure. Thoreau battled tuberculosis and died before 50. Emerson was kicked out of Harvard and the Church. Margaret Fuller died in a boat crash on Fire Island. Louis Marie Alcott had to start working to support her family because her fathers’ failed utopian communities.

 

Key points include:

  • The digital Meta-scene
  • Thoreau on Twitter
  • Making the jump from online to offline

 

Access the links and read the full newsletter, #120: The Emergence Of The Digital Meta-Scene, Very Online People (VOP), Strangely Earnest Twitter, Digital Ambitions and Bold Offline Adventures, on the Boundless website.