: New: Book Report: The People's Platform

The internet was going to be this great thing that returned the voice to the people. That gave power to the people. I thought that. Like, maybe I thought that the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace was kinda overdone/overwrought/oversomething. But I thought it was within the realm of possibility, right? This book points out the ways that the internet hasn't lived up to that ideal.

We thought the internet would route around censorship; that free speech would pop up faster than censors could quash it. But China showed that with cheap labor, a 50ยข party can keep up with censoring everything well enough.

We thought we were giving everyone a voice. But when everyone's yelling, the bozo who can afford the loudest megaphone has the easiest time being heard. So you might legislate some controls to level the megaphone-playing-field-strained-metaphor. But legislating such things without shutting down some voices is tricky. And maybe there aren't so many legislators interested in boosting the voices of those annoying folks who want to call legislators doo-doo-heads anyhow.

We thought…

We thought that better communication technology would get us better free speech "for free" as a byproduct. This book points out many many aspects in which that hasn't panned out. It's a good wake-up call.

Remember back when my website got zapped for a few weeks? The good news is that it was mostly backed up. The bad news is that my draft blog posts weren't backed up. Maybe I had a wordier book report prepped? Anyhow, now it's months since I read this book and I don't remember so much. Sorry!

Tags: book brutal truth trust the machine

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