What has dawned on me these days is that the ’net is no longer a place of escape. Not that long ago, businessmen like me could go online, easily ﬁnd colleagues who were interested in making a difference on the planet. Go online now, and you’ll ﬁnd spammers, petty jealousies, gossips—everything that you might confront in the physical world, but more invasive. The shield of civility often disappears, replaced by the biting tongues of those who are ill-educated, but think they are armed with all the knowledge of the ancients.
Inevitably, we will all congregate into groups, only to ﬁnd that as those groups grow, the same pattern is followed. The ’net in general gave way to the blogosphere, where many of the better thinkers went. But as I watched the whole Jennifer Siebel-attacking matter unfold over the last week (SFist’s obsession seems unnatural, but try telling its contributors that), it is fair to conclude that the blogosphere is suffering from the forces that made the web clunkier, slower and less exciting. The new frontier, just like California must have been to its ﬁrst settlers (I do mean the native Americans), gave way to the white settlers, lawlessness and disease, before an experimental civilization began to take root. That experimental, occidental civilization is now armed with the internet, slagging people off while ignoring the homeless people minutes away from their residences. It just seems easier to be nasty, but is it more natural given one’s humanity?
I imagine we must start with other communities, other groups, and hope that contact with the educated class rubs off some knowledge on to the ill-educated. We now live, at least in this medium, in a world of the information-rich and the information-poor, but even we must depend on schools and governments—perhaps online schools (?)—and the hope that reasoning is something we are born with. That the internet remains somewhere where all can learn and better themselves, not a medium where pettiness and hate are propagated.
The realignment of what the internet is must start with those of us who write in it, conducting ourselves in the hope that we are working toward a utopia that will, God willing, transmit its positive energy in to the real world. Posted by Jack Yan, 09:30
I think you have a unrealistic expectation of the internet. You hope that it will help uplift mankind and it may but, it will also help bring him down. The internet will cover the FULL spectrum of mankind i.e. both good and bad. The internet plays no favorites and never will as it is completely neutral. In regards to its neutrality, I hope it stays that way. While I may not care for some of the garbage on the net, I don't want anyone to have the authority to say what should be on there and what shouldn't. For what is good or what is bad depends entirely on each person's perspective.
Maybe, Ron, but not long ago the internet was just that: a place where ideals were expressed and achieved. Then, the rot set in.
I would counter that the reason there wasn't much rot was because the rot couldn't get to the internet. Once it gained access, it showed up like it has in the rest of society. The internet is reflective of society as a whole both good and bad. We see your and others high ideals and we see pornography and worse.Post a Comment
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