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<nettime> Hurray! The Internet WON the Election!
Newmedia on Sun, 7 Nov 2004 13:00:53 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Hurray! The Internet WON the Election!


In response to a comment from Simon Higgs regarding the postings on the IP
(Interesting People) list --


> I still can't get my head around this all consuming hatred for the
> "other" party. It just has to go. This type of discourse (which is
> worse than the average jr high nonsense) just isn't interesting
> anymore.

But, Simon . . . this is exactly the level of "discourse" that is appropriate
on the Internet.

Always has been (at least since I first got involved with com-priv in the 
early 1990's) and always will be -- for the simple reason that the 
Internet encourages people to speak their "minds" and most minds generally 
operate in this fashion.  Even after Dave "edits" what gets on this list! 

Just as radio was appropriate for mobilizing mass-movements (i.e. Fascist 
and Communiist, alike) and television was appropriate for 
"couch-potatoeing" (i.e. Mass-Age = massage), the Internet is appropriate 
for expressing oneself as an "individual" (i.e. fairly petty and largely 
irrational outbursts of "opinion.")

I've been through this on the Well, on Rheingold's eMinds, on my own 
mailing lists and in dozens of other venues.  People may not want to hear 
it but the Internet is fundamentally a swarm of individualized "bias" and 
"prejudice" -- by its essential nature.

In this regard, it is very different from television.  This election was 
the first in which the Internet won and television lost.  Historically, 
the 1960 election (Kennedy vs. Nixon) is probably the first in which 
television won and radio lost.  Take your pick but at some point in the 
mid-1800's there was an election in which the telegraph (i.e. electricity) 
won and the "book" lost. Maybe it was Lincoln?

If you find that all this "interesting anymore" then you are indeed living 
in uncomfortable times -- until the Internet is replaced with an even 
"newer" medium, it's not going to change.

Wanta help me design the next new media, knowing what we now know about 
this one . . . and all those that have come before?


Mark Stahlman
New York City

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