Richard Sennett, Centennial Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and professor at New York University, doesn't normally feature in the usual line-up of quoted experts concerned with the diffuse nature of the internet and its affects on humanity. A regrettable omission because Richard Sennett's digital wisdoms (“The Digital Wisdom of Richard Sennett”) are not only found online.
An expert in urban social relationships, Sennett doesn't only focus on the effects of economic systems on everyday life. He also offers important insights more ephemeral spaces, such as the internet. He led a research project which looked at the working conditions of mid-twenties professionals in finance, IT and new media. “They are confused”, he says. “Everyone thinks they are going to be the next Martha Lane Fox but they are learning very quickly that all these fantasy worlds just aren't going to happen. Don't commit, don't be dependent, stay loose. Loyalty is very low on this list. But if you think dependence is bad, what you produce is a damaged human being.” His diagnosis: “lack of mastery over one's life”.