Cyberspace Politics

Cyberspace the liberator is now a tyrant’s tool | Bryan Appleyard – Times Online:

Cyberspace the liberator is now a tyrant’s tool Utopians believed the internet would be an unstoppable force for democracy, but the bad guys have got wise

There is something that does not ring right about this article, or perhaps the work of Ron Diebert. The take on this data is a bit weird, though the facts might be right.

More quotes and more of my comments and an experiment follows.

Cyberspace was born free, but everywhere it is in chains. Once a promised land inhabited by visionaries, libertarians and freedom fighters, it has become a war zone. “The Harry Potter age of the internet,” says Professor Ron Deibert, “is over.”

Deibert is director of the Citizen Lab at Toronto University, which monitors state and corporate control of cyberspace. In a recent Citizen Lab survey of 69 countries, it learnt that 40 had internet restrictions.

“There was a myth that the internet was impossible to control, a realm that had some magical properties that eluded control … but there’s been a maturation over the past 10 years and creeping regulation from the private sector and the state,” says Deibert. “We’re seeing the ways in which control is exercised becoming much more sophisticated.”


Maybe there were such utopian myths about the Internet. But to have some belief in its value does not mean one is utopian.

My faith in humanity is hopefully not utopian. There may be people paid to bullshit online, everyone from politicians, ad-men, and Chinese astroturfers, but they will not win the battle as authenticity, real relationships and wisdom prevail.

I am not really sure about this. It is not the baddies out there that give me the creeps. It is the popularity of trivia that is of more concern.

Trending Topics as I write on twitter.

* #intwitterhighschool
* #questionyouhate People tweeting the most irritating questions.
* #youknowyouinlove Another hashtag about signs that indicate you’re in love.
* Tito
* Joseph Gordon-Levitt
* UFC 106
* Forrest Griffin
* Al Gore
* #AdamsEve

Is that a worry? Nothing there that takes us one step beyond escape, unless you count

I don’t think so. I have a peculiar idea that the very inventions needed to create the relevant social change Ron Deibert thinks the net will not deliver can be invented here. I think of how it took scientists like Darwin and Mendel to connect or not connect to make basic scientific breakthroughs. That delay is gone. It will speed up the experiments happening in social science, our social intelligence will rise. .

To test the point I just looked up Social Intelligence in Twitter and found a person @bacigalupe (who will follow) who linked to: Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership by Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis in the Harvard Business Review.

And of more interest in that same little foray I can now see his psychology twitter list. Usefull!

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