Saturday, August 14, 2004

John Perry Barlow

Reason has an interview up with John Perry Barlow, a founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, that's definitely worth reading. On Kerry vs. Bush:
We have to re-engage in the political process we have. Democracy actually works. You could make the argument that it’s working too well in America -- people are really getting exactly the government that they want. That is to say, the people who bother to engage themselves in the really tedious work of being a political activist -- having meetings in church basements and putting signs on people’s lawns.

I have grave misgivings about John Kerry, but I certainly don’t have misgivings about Kerry that equal the terror I have about another four years of Bush. What he’s done to aspects of the Constitution that are there to assure individual rights is breathtakingly bad.
And on TV vs. the Internet for getting news:
You now have two distinct ways of gathering information beyond what you yourself can experience. One of them is less a medium than an environment -- the Internet -- with a huge multiplicity of points of view, lots of different ways to find out what’s going on in the world. Lots of people are tuned to that, and a million points of view have bloomed. It creates a cacophony of viewpoints that doesn’t have any political coherence at all, a beautiful melee, but it doesn’t have the capacity to create large blocs of belief.

The other medium, TV, has a much smaller share of viewers than at any time in the past, but those viewers get all their information there. They get turned into a very uniform belief block. TV in America created the most coherent reality distortion field that I’ve ever seen. Therein is the problem: People who vote watch TV, and they are hallucinating like a sonofabitch. Basically, what we have in this country is government by hallucinating mob.
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