A great example of the invisibility of the technological imperative:

"The Chinese people seem to be way ahead of Americans in living a digital life," said Barry Diller, an American media mogul, last week in a speech to students in Beijing. Mr Diller recently broke up his media company, IAC; he was in Beijing to announce he was stepping up investments in Chinese internet projects. To justify this move, he published a survey comparing how Chinese and Americans aged 16–25 use the internet. It revealed that in this arena as in so much else, China is surging ahead.

"Like many other areas in comparing Americans to the energy and progress elsewhere in the world, China's speedy evolution in its use of the internet is fast eclipsing that of the US. I think this is great for China, not so great for us," Mr Diller concluded.

Uh, I think Americans are way ahead of the rest of the world in living a television-centric life. Americans watch more TV than the rest of the world combined, so what we lack in Internet usage, we make up for in television usage.

Does that sound ridiculous to anyone besides me?

Mr. Diller never asks what Internet usage is good for: it's forgone, as is the case with most new technology. Only after many years do we look back and say, "Gee, maybe that wasn't so great after all." or worse, we might not learn anything: "Boy, I sure spent a lot of time online!"