More from the Economist

Yet anther article from the Economist supporting the status quo: governments, corporations and the power structure and their “right” to dictate what we can know and what we can do.  Here is a great rebuttal from the forum.

Aug 14th 2011 9:05 GMT

This piece is fine as long as it sticks to summing up what the Web is and how we got here. It starts to go off the rails when it ventures into matters of opinion.

“All those with access to the web now have a voice to air their grievances, vent their anger, parade their biases, push the boundaries of decency, spill the beans.”

This is known as free speech. If you don’t want to listen to it, no-one’s forcing you.

“In dealing with issues of privacy, public safety and national security, governments have every right to discuss such matters behind closed doors—indeed, we insist they do. It is dangerously naïve to argue otherwise.”

Whom do you mean by “we”? These assertions are not uncontroversial and shouldn’t be made without evidence and argument.

“Consider copyright.”

OK, let’s consider copyright. For most of human history, no such concept existed, but books and art and music flourished nonetheless. Currently, copyright law (intended to benefit the creator of a work) absurdly restricts copying long after the creator’s death. It may be that the concept of copyright will disappear entirely in the future. If so, some may regret its passing, but the world will keep turning.

“Ironically, for all the labour-saving tools the web has given us, and all the personal connections it has allowed us to make, we seem to have become lonelier and more isolated than ever.”

Speak for yourself. I lived most of my life before the Web, and was lonelier then. Now, I not only have friends in many different countries, but I’m in touch with them daily.


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