The Clash of Civilizations

Civilians attempt to subsume the digital world; tech people insist on its autonomy

Paris. It’s a weird sound when politicians and other civilians say the word “digital.” First they say it often: “It should be a digital market in a digital world. We are about the digital agenda—and not just in the digital sector.” There’s a certain drag on the first syllable, as in “dijjj.” There’s pleasure in being able to say it, a kind of unexpected delight. They say it like people who didn’t go to Harvard, say Harvard—with too much respect and lingering far too long.