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Information Excess and Lack of Purpose? | 9 comments
[new] the existential internet (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#4)
by amy on Fri Oct 3rd, 2003 at 11:44:46 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME
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Hmm, it sounds a lot like life to me. :-)

Well, sorry for being a little bit silly, but, the Internet seems more like a culture to me than a library or other information resource. If you think about its decentralized structure, I think that model makes more sense. If I go for a walk around town, I can find out a lot of information - sometimes by looking for something specific, but more often by just running into it. It's a different way of taking in information than if I went to the library and let the librarians' organization direct me to it - though both have their use.

Though I understand it has its uses, I'm not sure I'd be happy if the Internet were entirely, or even largely, as Alle proposes. It's too much control over culture and intellectual pursuit for me. Where there's a "leader" who decides what's "on-topic" there are inevitably problems of censorship. But on a larger philosophical level - at least in the US in the past 20 years, there is a cultural submissiveness to authority that I find very troubling. People now not only tolerate intellectual control, they demand it. College students want to be told what to think and what to think about. Adults accept ever-increasing government and corporate surveillance and intrusions with alarming passivity, as it comes to them packaged as patriotism, freedom, and other forms of paternalism - and it doesn't occur to them to think about those concepts "outside the box."

Those might seem like extreme examples, and you might think, "But! More intellectual, politically correct leaders would also emerge!" But in practice, I've noticed these same problems occuring in moderated "intellectual" forums as well: what one person defines as "off-topic" - be it as a totalitarian move or with best intentions - is another person's "we need to think about this outside the box."

Drifting off now to more cultural-informational encounters...


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Information Excess and Lack of Purpose? | 9 comments


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