In a continuing discussion (original & response & reply) on the battles over Internet regulation. Both Nicklas & I are taking points from the past and drawing lines into the future, while taking into consideration the changes created by new technologies. In his last post Nicklas summed it up beautifully:
But as technology becomes more and more powerful, the control over technology will slowly converge with control over people.
Actually for me, control over technology has always been about control over people. Control over technology alone is unimportant. But Nicklas’ point is that our technology is creeping deeper into our lives and minds and therefore control over this technology will not only control the bodies but also the minds of the populous.
The point where we disagree is where we are turning at the moment. For Nicklas
The thing that sometimes worries me is that the alternative is not the status quo. It is not tinkering with the net as is. Because the net will continue to evolve and technology will make us even more powerful. The second time around the alternative to Barlow is not Lessig or even Wu&Goldsmith. It is Solzhenitsyn.
The thing is that Solzhenitsyn is too “easily” seen and eventually resisted. I fear a world where the alternative is Rupert Murdoch an intelligent and powerful man who happily(?) feeds the world Fox news and other trash – knowing that by entertaining us with garbage he controls us and our incomes. Increasingly I think we do not need totalitarian states to control us, its much cheaper to feed us garbage, entertain us with varying levels of porn and gossip and debase politics into punchlines. When the majority is busy with this, the minorities of protesters will not have the power to engage us into major social change.
As an aside: I like the fact that online regulation retains the cyber prefix. It’s dated but ties nicely back to the period when the question was still hotly debated.