Internet activism is spelling the end for the age of spin, the online campaign guru Joe Trippi will warned two British politicians, suggesting that the rules for dealing with “old media” no longer apply.Dave Weinberger suggests more or less the same thing, somewhat less optimistically,
“Command and control … [is] a disaster in the peer-to-peer social network world.”
— Does the Internet Spell the End of Political Spin? By Tania Branigan, The Guardian. Posted June 15, 2007.
Dave says Peter Lurie is right in saying “Why the Web Will Win the Culture Wars for the Left: Deconstructing Hyperlinks”.
Peter thinks hyperlinks contain an implicit politics: “The Web is a postmodernist tool that inevitably produces a postmodernist perspective.” I think so, too, although I’m not quite as optimistic. There are too many ways the Net could go wrong.Postmodernist deconstruction would be better than premodern top-down authoritarian dictation of the sort that produces unnecessary wars (Remember the Maine!). And blogs and YouTube and the like do seem to favor deconstruction, by letting everybody comment and, even better, produce their own content. (I would also argue that the Internet provides a platform for going beyond postmodern deconstruction and that in some places it’s already doing that, but that’s a different post.)
FWIW, Peter and I are thinking along the same lines. Small Pieces Loosely Joined was on a very similar theme, and he should like (or possibly find very annoying) the end of Everything Is Miscellaneous, which argues that we are now building for one another a messy infrastructure of meaning…
— Deconstructing hyperlinks, Dave Weinberger, Joho the Blog, June 17, 2007
But of course all this applies only if the Internet continues to support blogs and YouTube and Flickr and the like. And it is not at all clear that the incumbent ISP duopoly wants that.
So if postmodernists or leftists or activists or fans of information or participation or truth want the Internet to help them win, they’d best be getting some Internet neutrality rules in place and enforced. Even better would be to also start some competition for the duopoly.