[iDC] Against Web 2.0

Rick Maxwell rmax at nyc.rr.com
Wed May 31 09:40:11 EDT 2006

Dear all

I'm itching to get in on this one, but the speed of daily life is  
fragmenting that desire. For now, let me add this: look at the post  
wwII history of US imperial aspirations, foreign policy, and rise of  
transnationals; link in communications needs; re-read Mattelart,  
Herbert I Schiller, et al. Now come up to the present and look at Dan  
Schiller's book Digital Capitalism, Vincent Mosco's Digital Sublime,  
etc; throw in some recent critical media policy studies and reform  
movement for highlights; and don't forget the history of anti- 
imperialist movements, which involved both organized and large  
voluntary mobilizations using whatever means of communication were  
available. so, yeah, it's not technologically determined. This is a  
telegraph, not an email.

On May 31, 2006, at 8:46 AM, Franz Nahrada wrote:

> David,
> your disturbing and provoquative thesis has one shortcoming: it  
> does not
> really explain why the new absolutism in power should be caused of
> facilitated by the Internet. Of course I could imagine some
> interpretations: the internet as fragmentation of the public at  
> large  is
> one possible explanation. Instead of having one "oeffentlichkeit"  
> to deal
> with, politics is confronted with a "multitude" of neo-biedermaierish
> communities each one way below the critical mass to inflict  
> substantial
> social change. Even if, by chance, some of the waves converge, like  
> the
> mass demonstration on war with 10 million participants around the  
> world,
> it is an amorphous and powerless crowd, prone to disperse after the
> gathering and lacking substantial organisation or means of power.
> Still I do not buy into your thesis, because you forget to add the  
> fact
> that for the first time in history complex self-organisation of large
> social bodies on a voluntary base is not only possible, but also a
> reality. So far, crowds and social classes were organized by  
> submission
> and force. This time, for the first time in history, a reassembling of
> fragmented social atoms on the base of voluntary choice seems to be  
> at the
> bottomline of social organisation. Technology provides a channell for
> complex self-organisation beyond any comparison in history.
> And there is more ressemblance: dont forget, that a cycle of  
> revolution -
> counterrevolution and revolution is exactly what happened between  
> 1789 and
> 1948. The public withdrew from the political arena into a seemingly
> private world, just to come back to the stage of history reassured and
> reflected, aware of the depth of the task, cleared of some illusions.
> The effect of media needs not to be a momentary one. Some effects  
> can show
> up in the long run.
> Franz Nahrada
> GIVE - Globally Integrated Village Environment
> The Research Lab on Global Villages
> Vienna Austria
> www.globalvillages.info
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