More disturbing is that most of these people simply accept that these systems are impenetrable, and that great expertise is required to create websites. Something is wrong here.
John Kawakami --------------
I think that a culture disappears as the practices that sustain it are lost or erased and that is pretty much what has happened. So the solution is to resusciate those practices. But as I mentioned off list, I haven't been able to get anyone to use an old 486i loaded with freebsd. The ultimate point of that exercise was to re-create the net the way I found it in about '93 where it had drastically changed from my original contact in '79-80.
It is a little bizarre since the people I tried this plan on ranged from a couple of PhDs and a lawyer to several working class guys who barely finished high school. They all had the same reaction. They just assumed in advance of any experience at all that it was an impenetrable system and took great expertise, as you said. Yet they all bitched about their Win and Mac systems.
So the point is that something like netscape and windows obscure the machinery and control the interface to such an extent that the only position is to accept the status of a passive consumer, an empty vessel waiting to be filled with `content rich' experiences.
In case you missed it, check out both Micheal Perelman's Class warfare in the information Age and Lawrence Lessig's Code and other laws of cyberspace. I am at chp four in Lessig, Architectures of Control. Thanks to `ac', MP and Ian M for suggesting it.