Kwinter's criticisms of digital society can be adapted into criticisms of universities: the institutions enforce a productivist ethic on a privileged class that moves into their enclaves, they often flood both faculty and students with information in a way that blocks reflection and deep experience, they are in danger of becoming increasingly panoptic total institutions (in part to protect themselves against litigation and in part because students are demanding more and more individualized services). The institutions need to but avoid reinventing themselves more democratically while fighting savage economic imperatives. They are tempted by the short term allure of gadgets, to the neglect of older praxes that may have been under-developed in their traditions. They foster the creation of micro-groups, whether these are student cliques or graduate micro-programs.

One of Kwinter's criticisms that may not transfer well to universities, however, is that his claim that the new digital culture denies people the language that could criticize their world. Do universities block us from criticizing themselves?