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cibelibertarian myths and the prospects for community - 1 views

    • estelaripa
      mitificación, se separa la idea de su contexto, historicidad, problematicidad.
  • Let us take the topic of community, for example. Here one finds a tradition of social, religious and political speculation of more than two thousand years, a tradition that includes writings from Old and New Testaments, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Proudhon, Kropotkin, and a many other sources. For more recent points of reference, one can turn to a wealth of scholarly studies of historical and contemporary communities in Weber, Durkheim, Tonnies, and countless other modern sociologists about how living communities actually work. For the cyberlibertarians, of course, none of this matters. Visions of community found in the literature of philosophy, history and social science are not significant points of reference. If they were, the notions of "community" often used to discuss what is happening on the Net would likely have a much different complexion.
    • estelaripa
      ejemplo de mitificación del concepto comunidad
  • ...71 more annotations...
  • Among libertarian cyberspace enthusiasts what is important about human relations on the Internet are warm and fuzzy experiences of connection that arise in computer mediated forums. Along with feeling free and empowered by the new media, we can also be closely in touch with other people. Indeed, this is a crucial aspect of previous renderings of ideas about community, part of the story that always bears watching. It is, however, only one dimension of the experience of community and of theoretical concepts employed to focus inquiries into the matter. But along with a sense of belonging, historical communities have carried a strong sense of obligation, imposing demands, sometimes highly stringent ones, upon their members. You know you are in a community when the phone rings and someone informs you that it is your turn to assume the burden, devoting months of your time to a chore the group deems necessary, organizing this year's fund raiser, for example. Unfortunately, most writings about on-line relationships blithely ignore the obligations, responsibilities, constraints, and mounds of sheer work that real communities involve.
    • estelaripa
      la mitificación de la idea de comunidad en la red elimina el componente de obligación y sacrificio que esta conlleva en la concepción historica de comunidad, y en las practicas comunitarias de la vida real
  • The hollowness and banality of cyberlibertarian conceptions of community are also reflected in their frequent assertions that the goal is finding people in the world who are very much like you, enjoying them for their similarity.
  • Among political theorists who have written about the matter, the troubling question of how to balance the desires of the individual with the needs of the group is usually understood to be the key to any useful grasp of community life.
  • within in the larger picture of social development there is a disturbing trend at work. The "Magna Carta," for example, looks forward to "the creation of 'electronic neighborhoods' bound together not by geography but by shared interests." Its authors believe that this holds out the promise of a rich diversity in social life. But what will be the exact content of this diversity? An important feature of life in cyberspace is that it will "allow people to live further away from crowded or dangerous urban areas, and expand family time."
    • estelaripa
      aquí pareciera que la tendencia no siguió tal cual, porque se promueve justamente la apertura y supuestamente libre circulación entre los territorios del ciberespacio.
  • As the picture clarifies, what appears is diversity achieved through segregation. Away from the racial and class conflicts that afflict the cities, sheltered in a comfortable cyberniche of one's social peers, the Third Wave society offers electronic equivalents of the gated communities and architectural barriers that offer the well-to-do freedom from troubles associated with urban underclass
  • By comparison, the urban communities of the industrial past were laboratories of social diversity, seeking ways for people of vocations, ethnic backgrounds, income levels, and social interests to mediate their differences and to stake out some areas of shared commitment.
  • the geographical confines of urban space and the needs of social organization required that an effort be made to find constructive ways of living together. Is the promise of networked computing that people (or at least the wealthy) will now be released from this task?
    • estelaripa
      idea de cerrado como limite positivo que obliga a negociar, a acordar, a salir del propio interes para adecuarse al interés comun. Este es uno de los riesgos de las redes o las multitudes, el atajo que dan a este camino, por el cual no es necesario enfrentarse al distinto, adaptarse, buscar estrategias de convivencia consensuadas y superadoras de lo estrictamente individual
  • The shallowness evident in cyberlibertarian conceptions of community are echoed in their views of other key themes in social and political thought. Their imaginings of on-line democracy, for example
  • But again, the focus of these writings is never community, democracy, equality, or citizenship in the world at large sense, only faint echoes of these matters in the on-line realm.
  • My suggestion is, therefore, that in addressing the possibilities and propects of networked computing, we return to well known historical and theoretical contexts for discussing social and political life in a world that will now add networking to a vast complex of other significant features.
  • n that light, many of the most interesting questions for speculation and research have to do with the boundaries between conventional practices and institutions and those being created on the Net. Rather than proclaim community, democracy, citizenship it would be better to study these boundaries, to think about how communities are likely to be affected by the arrival of networked computing and what a reasonable response would be.
    • estelaripa
      aqui está la idea de relación real virtual, como desde lo virtual trabajar para mejorar el mundo no solo virtual sino real, y como impreganr el mundo virtual de las voecs y realidades del mundo real, al menos las que requieren atención prioritaria.
  • But before we seize the advantage, shifting our purchases to Internet vendors, we need to recognize a hidden price we may end up paying: the demise of traditional shops.
  • Some will argue that fast search engines supplemented by and on-line help desk can replace the human depth that traditional stores have to offer. But this reflects an impoverished understanding of what the social life of books involves
    • estelaripa
      puede ser que en el futuro ya nadie piense asi, o no, no sabemos. Pero en el presente es importante respetar esta diversidad y acogerla con respeto y conciencia de la imprevisibilidad y ambi(pluri)valencia de los cambios que estamos viviendo
  • The benefit bookstores and other local shops offer individuals is matched by the way the serve as anchors for the civic culture of our towns and cities.
  • This suggests that in the age of global communications we will have to become more judicious about where and how we make purchases. In the interest of sustaining living communities, it makes sense to avoid Internet net commerce altogether when there are reasonable, local sources of supply. This is not only a question of altruism, but of self-interest broadly informed. The short term advantage of sending to a computer data bank in Seattle for a bargain priced book to be read thousands of miles away makes no sense if the action contributes to a depleted economy down the street, undermining the integrity of community life.
    • estelaripa
      un ejemplo parecido de esta logica seria la creciente conciencia ecologica, que nos lleva a comprar productos locales, pagando preciso mas caros, pero garantizando un menor daño al ya malogrado planeta
  • In sum, my suggestion is not that we need a cyber-communitarian philosophy to counter the excesses of today's cyberlibertarian obsessions.
  • Instead is a recommendation to take complex communitarian concerns into account when faced with personal choices and social policies about technological innovation. Superficially appealing uses of new technology become much more problematic when regarded as seeds of evolving, long term practices.
  • Such practices, we know, eventually become parts of consequential social relationships. Those relationships eventually solidify as lasting institutions. And, of course, such
    institutions are what provide much of the actual framework for how we live together. That suggests that even the most seemingly inconsequential applications and uses of innovations in networked computing be scrutinized and judged in the light of what could be important moral and political consequences. In the broadest spectrum of awareness about these matters we need to ask: Are the practices, relationships and institutions affected by people's involvement with networked computing ones we wish foster? Or are they ones we must try to modify or even oppose?
  • That suggests that even the most seemingly inconsequential applications and uses of innovations in networked computing be scrutinized and judged in the light of what could be important moral and political consequences
  • That suggests that even the most seemingly inconsequential applications and uses of innovations in networked computing be scrutinized and judged in the light of what could be important moral and political consequences
  • That suggests that even the most seemingly inconsequential applications and uses of innovations in networked computing be scrutinized and judged in the light of what could be important moral and political consequences
  • That suggests that e
  • upheaval
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  • What kinds of personal practices, social relations, legal and
  • upheaval
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  • n case after case, the move to computerize and digitize means that many preexisting cultural forms have suddenly gone liquid, losing their
    former shape as they are retailored for computerized expression. As new patterns solidify, both useful artifacts and the texture of human relations that surrounds them are often much different from what existed previously. This process amounts to a vast, ongoing experiment whose long term ramifications no one fully comprehends.
  • One of the changes in our world that characterizes the late twentieth century is the digital transformation of an astonishingly wide range of material artifacts interwoven with social practices. In one location after another, people are saying in effect: Let us take what exists now and restructure or replace it in digital format.
  • a widely popular ideology that dominates much of today's discussion on networked computing. A suitable name for this philosophy is cyberlibertarianism, a collection of ideas that links ecstatic enthusiasm for electronically mediated forms of living with radical, right wing libertarian ideas about the proper definition of freedom, social life, economics, and politics in the years to come.
  • upheava
  • upheaval
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  • political norms
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  • , and lasting institutions will emerge from this
  • More importantly, what kinds of practices, relations, rules, and institutions do we want to emerge in these settings.
  • Any attempt to philosophize about computers and society must somehow come to terms with the wide appeal of this widespread perspective, its challenges and shortcomings.
  • The first and most central characteristic of cyberlibertarian world view is what amounts to a whole hearted embrace of technological determinism. This is not the generalized determinism of earlier writings on technology and culture, but one specifically tailored to the arrival of the electronic technologies of the late twentieth century. In harmony with the earlier determinist theories, however, the cyberlibertarians hold that we are driven by necessities that emerge from the development of the new technology and from nowhere else.
  • To describe these changes, cyberlibertarians use familiar terms of inevitable, irresistible, world-transforming change.
  • In this perspective, the dynamism of digital technology is our true destiny
  • There is no time to pause, reflect or ask for more influence in shaping these developments. Enormous feats of quick adaptation are required of all of us just to respond to the requirements the new technology casts upon us each day. In the writings of cyberlibertarians those able to rise to the challenge are the champions of the coming millennium. The rest are fated to languish in the dust.
  • rom the standpoint of contemporary social theory, there is a wonderful irony here. For the past twenty years sociologists and historians have been busily at work trying to
    defeat what they saw as an unwarranted determinism in earlier interpretations of the interactions between culture and technology. In one way or another most scholars believe in the social construction or social shaping of technology in which outcomes are negotiated among a variety of actors with complex motives. It is interesting to note how little such understanding enters libertarian writings on cyberspace
  • In fact, increasingly popular among cyberlibertarians is the conclusion that rapid development of artificial things amounts to a kind of evolution that can be explained in quasi-biological terms
  • Another key theme in this emerging ideology is that of radical individualism.
  • Writings of cyberlibertarians revel in prospects for ecstatic self-fulfillment in cyberspace and emphasize the need for individuals to disburden themselves of encumbrances that might hinder the pursuit of rational self-interest. The experiential realm of digital devices and networked computing offers endless opportunities for achieving wealth, power and sensual pleasure. Because inherited structures of social, political, and economic organization pose barriers to the exercise of personal power and self-realization, they simply must be removed.
  • Yet another element in this vision of the world perhaps could well have been placed at the top of the list. Crucial to cyberlibertarian ideology are concepts of supply-side, free market capitalism, the school of thought reformulated by Milton Friedman and the Chicago school of economics.
  • As Nicolas Negroponte writes in Wired, , "I do believe that being digital is positive. It can flatten organizations, globalize society, decentralize control, and help harmonize people..." (Negroponte, 182)
  • "It is clear," the Magna Carta exclaims, "that cyberspace will play an important role knitting together the diverse communities of tomorrow, facilitating the creation of 'electronic neighborhoods' bound together not by geography but by shared interests." (Magna Carta)
  • By the same token, democracy will flourish as people use computer communication to debate issues, publicize positions, organize movements, participate in elections and perhaps eventually vote on line
  • We see here the coalescence of an ideology that is already extremely influential, one likely to have substantial influence in years to come. Indeed, there seems to be no coherent, widely shared philosophy of cyberspace that offers much of an alternative.
  • the cyberlibertarian position offers a vision that many middle and upper class professionals find coherent and appealing.
  • As is generally true of ideologies, this framework of thought serves to both illuminate and obscure.
  • it illuminates what are ultimately power fantasies that involve radical self-tranformation and the reinvention of society in directions assumed to be entirely favorable. But this ideology obfuscates a great many basic changes that underlie the creation of new practices, relations and institutions as digital technology and social life are increasingly woven together.
  • One especially foggy area in cyberlibertarian rhetoric is its depiction of matters of power and distribution. Who stands to gain and who will lose in the transformations now underway?
  • Will the promised democratization benefit the populace as a whole or just those who own the latest equipment? And who gets to decide? About these questions, the cyberlibertarians show little concern.
  • Characteristic of this way of thinking is a tendency to conflate the activities of freedom seeking individuals with the operations of enormous, profit seeking business firms.
  • As long as we are getting rapid economic growth and increased access to broad bandwidth, all is well. To raise questions about emerging concentrations of wealth and power around the new technologies would only detract from the mood of celebration.
  • The combined emphasis upon radical individualism, enthusiasm for free market economy, disdain for the role of government, and enthusiasm for the power of business firms places the cyberlibertarian perspective strongly within the context of right wing political thought
  • It is interesting to speculate about how it happened that prominent views about computing and society have become associated with a political agenda of the far right.
  • The pressing challenge now is, in my view, something entirely different: Offering a vision of an electronic future that specifies humane, democratic alternatives to the peculiar obsessions of the cyberlibertarian position.
  • An important first step, in my view, is to relocate the starting point for the whole discussion about society and networked computing.
  • yberlibertarians and other enthusiasts of cyberspace,
  • observes what is presently happening in the realm of networked computing and in the development of a rapidly evolving global technosphere. Then one chooses an impressive term: community or democracy, or citizenship or equality or some other lovely concept to describe aspects of what one observes. Other contexts in which those terms have meaning, contexts in history, philosophy and contemporary experience, need not enter the picture. No, they are not the target.

Social Media » Blog Archive » Crowds: Wisdom or Ignorance? - 3 views

  • Más aún, algunos de los blogueros que más público atraen entrarían, en mi opinión, mucho más en la categoría de los que Sunstein califica como ’emprendedores de la polarización’ que en la de adalides del consenso.
    • Diego Leal
      Aquí aparece un asunto espinoso. ¿Consenso podría significar persistencia del status quo? ¿alejarse del status quo significa polarización? ¿Es posible cuestionar el status quo sin polarización (yo diría que sí, pero no es lo más habitual)?
    • La conclusión sería pues que hay blogs que contribuyen más al extremismo, tan propenso a errores de bulto, que al equilibrio. Peligrosos, por tanto, cuando no directamente nocivos. Especialmente cuando lo que hace falta es debatir cuidadosamente cuestiones sensibles y no triviales.

      Me atrevo a pedir vuestra ayuda:

      • ¿Estaríais de acuerdo en que los blogs y los foros de debate pueden servir (también, aunque no sólo) para consolidar posturas extremas?
  • Uno de los atractivos de los ’social media’ que algunos activistas de Internet gustan de destacar es el potencial de utilizar la red para explotar “the wisdom of the crowds“.
  • ...2 more annotations...
  • Nicholas Carr, otro famoso autor de best-sellers, proponía acotar la validez de este fenómeno en un artículo significativamente titulado como “The Ignorance of Crowds“.
  • señalando que hay cuestiones que se abordan mejor haciendo intervenir a poca gente que en forma asamblearia.
    Interesante post que se interroga sobre la sabiduría y pluralismo (o no) de las multitudes (incluyendo también la idea de redes, en cuanto que menciona foros y blogs). Menciona un título de libro muy sugerente como idea: Going to extremes: how like minds unite and divide.
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