The lightning flashes, the smashed circuits through which, on occasion, leaps the light of unverses beyond our ken, exist only in rare individuals. But the flashes from such minds can fascinate and light up through the arts of communication the intellects of those not necessarily endowed with genius. In a conformist age science must, for this reason, be wary of its own authority. The individual must be re-created in the light of a revivified humanism which sets the value of man the unique against that vast and ominous shadow of man the composite, the predictable, which is the delight of the machine. The polity we desire is that ever-creative polity which Robert Louis Stevenson had in mind when he spoke of each person as containing a group of incongruous and ofttimes conflicting citizenry.
-- Loren Eiseley --
from The Night Country
Does this sound at all familiar? Large corporations, as well as governments, are happiest with the composite person, predictable and manageable. The art of communication can be used or misused to manipulate and indoctrinate citizen-consumers as well as illuminate and enlighten. It's a race to see who wins. I'm not optimistic for the forces of conformity have the financial and the political resources to silence the odd and irregular messages that come from those lacking the official stamp of approval.