Controlling the medium

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"The belief that new...technologies are in and of themselves democratic is not only false but dangerous...there is no reason to believe that the increased complexity of our technologized lives works toward increased equality for all subjected to the technology." pages 167-68 of Espen J. Aarseth's Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature

 

Is the fact that I agree with Aaresth's above statement make me at all paranoid? It just seemed like a very relevant statement today even though his book is thirteen years old now with the exponential expansion of the Internet and talk in Washington about its regulation. When books were first introduced centuries ago they were only made available to not only those who were literate but by the few printers who pulled the puppet strings.

The Internet is very similar. Just about anybody can post anything online with little if any regulation. Although most pay for Internet access in some way shape or form, thousands of coffee shops across the country offer free wi-fi to their patrons. In this instance there really are no limits to what people can do online. Why do we enjoy such extensive Internet freedom? It's because all its users in some way shape or form can control Internet content.

The whole idea of net neutrality that's being thrown around is hardly an increase in fairness and freedom on the web. It would actually force providers to display an equal amount of content from opposite viewpoints whether users want to see it or not. This is why control over the medium needs to remain in its users' hands in order to ensure as much freedom of choice as possible.

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