Web Paranoia

Paul Henry Rosenberg rad at gte.net
Fri Sep 4 09:25:28 PDT 1998

Carl Remick wrote:

> Re Alex's: "Making ideas accessible to the 'masses' is important, but
> it shouldn't
> be done through faux-populism."
> As I've said here before, the Internet, as it becomes increasingly
> accessible, should be very valuable in doing this. Maybe I'm being
> paranoid, but I wonder if the heavy media play being given to that
> recent Web study -- the one that suggests spending time in cyberspace
> can make you depressed -- is being fueled by an Establishment
> recognition of the Web's pro-populist potential.

There's nothing paranoid about it, and you don't need to be a Marxist to see it. See, for example, a fun little book published early last year, *Virtuous Reality: How America surrendered discussion of moral values to opportunists, nitwits & blockheads like William Bennett* by Jon Katz.

But, at the same time, it's WAY too easy to go to the other extreme and glorify the internet foolishly. While all you folks are arguing the best way to reach the masses, there are whole squads of cyberlibertarian drones out there dominating political discussions at sites where there OUGHT to be a real political contest going on.

Populism requires organization -- otherwise it's reactionary, know-nothing potential is almost immeasurable.

-- Paul Rosenberg Reason and Democracy rad at gte.net

"Let's put the information BACK into the information age!"

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