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[liberationtech] Cyber-sceptics wanted!

Alec Muffett alec.muffett at
Wed Mar 2 11:09:13 PST 2011

On 2 Mar 2011, at 18:54, Collin Anderson wrote:

> The difference in the debate isn't necessarily between liberation tech and a negative argument. Rather, against a palpable lack of nuance in some of the more effusive views often expressed even on this esteemed list.

I'd go further and say that there's a general lack of understanding, let alone nuance; for me this is most recently well-expressed in the latest (March 1) Foreign Affairs, where there's a rebuttal/counter-rebuttal by Gladwell and Shirky, both in regard to Clay's essay from the January 1 issue.

In essence the exchange boils down to:

MG: Because revolutions did occur in the pre-internet days, ergo the internet/web/socialmedia is irrelevant to revolutions. Nyaah!

CS: The internet/web/socialmedia taked the balance-of-power of communication and swings it somewhat away from the state; this lends some advantage to the citizenry. New battlefield dynamics make life somewhat trickier for authoritarianism. Suck it up and deal with it.

There - we've just saved everyone a trip to Oxford and/or the price of a magazine.


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