A word or two on utopia

In the comments thread to my last post one of the writers accused me and others of "irrational cheerleading" about the web.

Yes I believe that the web is going to fundamentally affect how we think about life and relate to each other in ways that we can only guess at now. It is an over used analogy but the web is similar in its effect to the printing press. That too was "just a technology" but arguably it created the conditions that allowed The Reformation and The Enlightenment to happen - hence my current reading.

Does it necessarily mean that the world becomes a better place? Far from it. In my workshops I make it clear that my aspirations are not utopian and in fact the utopian elements of Marxism and our current naive belief in the global economy are fine examples of where utopian thinking can get us into trouble.

The web can make the bad things in life happen faster and better just as it does the good things. This is why I believe that it is important to try to influence it towards the good rather than bad.

Call me naive or an old hippy but I do believe that we all have much more power to influence this world through the web than we ever have before and I for one won't apologise for setting out on that journey hopefully.