David Louis Edelman, author of Infoquake, has just posted "Greasemonkeying with Reality" to his blog, a very interesting post about the self-censorship we are rapidly rushing into. Earlier this month, I had a conversation with a friend and noted critic about the dangers of our Long Tail / total freedom of choice society, in that it becomes increasingly easy to self-select yourself into what Robert Anton Wilson called a "reality tunnel." Essentially, "I hear only what I want to hear" (as Supertramp sang so long ago in "Soapbox Opera.")
As David writes, "The Greasemonkeying of information won't just stop with the web. It's not going to end with the editing of digital bits on your computer screen. It's going to move onto your telephone and your television and eventually, inside that thick skull of yours."
I'm a big believer that the Long Tail is allowing us to drill deeper into niche content, discovering and rediscovering content we'd never encounter in traditional retail, but it's also true that the amount of time I spent with my head buried in the future - editing Pyr, corresponding with writers and artists, keeping up with the SFnal side of the bloggosphere and blogging about it myself - is making me feel like I've got my head in the sand when it comes to the real world. I wouldn't know jack about the foiled transatlantic bombing if a friend hadn't just emailed me about it. And while I'm pretty fond of my particular reality tunnel, the last thing I need is the ability to Greasemonkey myself even deeper into the future.