The crazy kids these days are putting their lives on the web, creating a generation gap of a width not seen for half a century, according to an article by Emily Nussbaum in New York magazine (via reddit). I find the argument strengthened by the fact that, from an article full of quotes from under-30s, I am drawn to share with you the words of Clay Shirky, who’s almost as old as me.
Shirky describes this generational shift in terms of pidgin versus Creole. “Do you know that distinction? Pidgin is what gets spoken when people patch things together from different languages, so it serves well enough to communicate. But Creole is what the children speak, the children of pidgin speakers. They impose rules and structure, which makes the Creole language completely coherent and expressive, on par with any language. What we are witnessing is the Creolization of media.”
That’s a cool metaphor, I respond. “I actually don’t think it’s a metaphor,” he says.