“The internet hasn’t lived up to all our dreams for it. But neither, perhaps, does it conform to the nightmares (of misinformation, of alienation, of exploitation) that so many people spin around it now.” “after decades of imagining it as a utopia, and then a few years of seeing it as a dystopia — we might finally begin to see it for what it is, which is a set of powerful technologies in the midst of some serious flux” https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/14/magazine/internet-future-dream.html
Thanks cool article.
I would say the opposite, that the internet does indeed “conform to the nightmares (of misinformation, of alienation, of exploitation)”. How could it not, when people can’t separate reality from fiction? When the history of mankind has been forever altered by Russia’s online media propaganda in the US and UK, which itself has directly caused both the election of Trump and the vote for Brexit.
Yes there is the same problem with traditional media (NYT etc). The words “media” and “propaganda” are basically synonyms, the internet is just a form a media.
An example of how the media is full of opinions, attention-getting, and fake news. Look at this sentence “after decades of imagining it as a utopia, and then a few years of seeing it as a dystopia — we might finally begin to see it for what it is" and ask yourself, who are they talking about, who is “we”?
Who is having these imaginations and these visions? Is it the magical collective conscience of mankind? Not at all. “We” is the media. So this is yet another sentence talking about what the media thinks. That is all. Just the media talking about itself. The term for this is “echo chamber”.
The media are people who know how to sound like they are smart so that they can grab your attention and profit from it. The term for this is “attention economy”.
I agree that the social media played a role in the election of trump and the brexit chaos. And speaking of media it includes TV(ex. foxnews) radio, newspapers, magazines, internet, social media sites, and blogs. The NYT consistently set the standards of what a newspaper should aspire to. Providing world class news and high quality media content. One of the most trusted sources for news and opinions with thorough coverage of various issues and known for journalistic integrity. It has won 127 pulitzer prizes so far for journalistic excellence. More than any other time I suppose we need news organization/media that filters and provide safeguards that information is released in a responsible way. Helping educating, reshaping, and stregthening society. A well informed citizen is necessary for a vibrant and healthy democracy. I think the article is making assumptions or predictions on the future of the internet based on the current best available informations. It gives us some ideas of what possibly happens next. I think the echo chamber phenomenom is more appropriate to the personalized results of social media like facebook and search giant google. Algorithm filter bubbles may lead to echo chamber. Social media twitter where like minded people congregate in communities of interest. The populist and tabloid like fox news.