The industrial age insisted on portentous-sounding names of great seriousness and formality, to validate the organizations which spoke with the voice of authority: “Bank of America,” “National Broadcasting Corporation,” “New York Times.” Each of these three names stood for a professional hierarchy which claimed a monopoly of specialized knowledge. They symbolized a starched-collar kind of mastery, and they meant to impress. Even the lowest-ranking person in these organizations, the names implied, had risen far above the masses.
The digital age loves self-mocking names, which are a way to puncture the formal stiffness of the established order: “Yahoo,” “Google,” “Twitter,” “reddit,” “Flickr,” “Photobucket,” “Bitcoin.” Without having asked the people in question, I feel reasonably sure that the founders of Google never contemplated naming their company “National Search Engine Corporation” and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook never felt tempted by “Social Connections Center of America.” It wasn’t the style.
When did the transition begin? We can still see the high water mark in 1980-s: Microsoft versus Digital Research, Apple vs International Business Machines.
Some traditional media can survive the transition. Most will die or simply wither away.
Education is next. Then science.