By Farhad Manjoo

Source: The New York Times

One secret to longevity as a pundit is to issue predictions that can’t be easily checked. So here’s one for the time capsule: Two hundred years from now, give or take, the robot-people of Earth will look back on the early years of the 21st century as the beginning of a remarkable renaissance in art and culture.

That may sound unlikely to many of us in the present. In the past few decades, we’ve seen how technology has threatened the old order in cultural businesses, including the decimation of the music industry, the death of the cable subscription, the annihilation of newspapers and the laying to waste of independent bookstores.

But things are turning around; for people of the future, our time may be remembered as a period not of death, but of rejuvenation and rebirth.

Part of the story is in the art itself. In just about every cultural medium, whether movies or music or books or the visual arts, digital technology is letting in new voices, creating new formats for exploration, and allowing fans and other creators to participate in a glorious remixing of the work. This isn’t new; from blogs to podcasts to YouTube, the last 20 years have been marked by a succession of formats that have led to ever-lower barriers for new and off-the-wall creators.

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