I think batwister has a huge and very important point here. We are at a very critical point in our 'culture' in which nearly EVERYONE is choosing convenience over quality (look at our mode of communication - 'texting' etc), cell phones, instagram, etc etc. We value our superficial semantic environment and presumed 'status' over true experience. But really it's 'quality' (an interesting discussion of the term in 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' that I urge others to read!) that matters. Quality of experience. Why look at something nonplussing instead of something mindblowing - something that changes your life??
I also think that we have become somehow blind to finesse - by taking everything in - in the form of small jpeg files, we somehow destroy our ability to see anything NOT in this format. I have a friend who does some particularly FINE oil painting in the hyperrealist tradition and overheard a woman, while looking at one of her paintings, ask her friend 'which photoshop filter she used to create it'. So - it seems to me there's an entirely new vocabulary and semantic economy that has been created as a result of individual experiences on the internet being the sole court held for purposes of evaluation. And I don't like it. The problem that it creates in our own medium is EXACTLY parallel with the problems it's creating in our own society (being that it's creating a society of idiots). The degree to which this happens to our medium is a matter of how passive we are about it.
Go to the galleries. Or especially the 'art fairs'. You can really start to see the results of this erosion. I've been meaning to write something 'proper' on the problem for some time. I'll try to share if I do. thanks for the original post and for the link to the discussion. I think this really matters. And I don't agree that it's the same problem we've had since the birth of photography. At all.