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August 04, 2006

I. Love. The. Internet.

Reading Political Animal, I just learned the Syrian ambassador to the U.S. has a blerrrrrrrg.

I am in love with the internet, and I don't care who knows it.

PREVIOUSLY, ON PLANET EARTH: Here's Andrei Sakharov writing in 1974:

"Far in the future, more than 50 years from now, I foresee a universal information system (UIS), which will give everyone access at any given moment to the contents of any book that has ever been published or any magazine or any fact. The UIS will have individual miniature-computer terminals, central control points for the flood of information, and communication channels incorporating thousands of artificial communications from satellites, cables, and laser lines. Even the partial realization of the UIS will profoundly affect every person, his leisure activities, and his intellectual and artistic development. Unlike television... the UIS will give each person maximum freedom of choice and will require individual activity. But the true historic role of the UIS will be to break down the barriers to the exchange of information among countries and people."
Posted at August 4, 2006 05:45 PM | TrackBack


Thanks for pointing that out that embarrassing typo.

Also: you're banned from this site forever.
Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at October 14, 2004 09:08 AM "



Posted by: at August 4, 2006 06:50 PM

They should name a river after it. A nice river with clean water and shade trees on the banks. That way people could say "I feel like swimming in the internet today"

Just my stupid way of saying 'surfing' (the web) is a metaphor for jerks (I guess for anti-Sahkarovs). 'require individual activity' --as in that quote-- would be true if everyone swam instead

Posted by: Henry at August 4, 2006 07:51 PM

"But Washington doesn't want any help from Damascus."

But Washington needs help and very badly. Everyone should help Washington. So how come Washington does not want help?

Because when you already have God helping you and talking to you who needs help.

Or because Washington does not need any help because they want the destruction to continue unabated.

Or maybe Bush is the smartest and most popular president ever so it is his manifest destiny not to want any help from Syria.

Posted by: rob payne at August 5, 2006 12:00 AM

so...I invented the internet? My, my.

Posted by: Andrei Sakharov at August 5, 2006 02:23 AM

People believe in all kinds of crazy stuff. In ages past primitive man peopled the world with spirits and forces that were allies and enemies. Later in time mankind peopled the world with witches, goblins and ghosts. Today we have conspiracies, Tesla and his secret particle ray gun, flying saucers, the modern versions of a superstitious past. But why do people believe in alien visitations and other such stuff? Probably it adds importance to their lives, makes them more special after all if space aliens are secretly leaving patterns in corn fields that makes us rather more important and special than if space aliens were not interested in humanity.

Stirling Newberry wrote this column for Truthout

where he speaks enthusiastically about the internet and all that it promises. Don’t get me wrong I like a lot of the things he says but I do not share his belief that the internet is going to change politics. I don’t care much for Lieberman in fact I think he is an unprincipled and underhanded skunk, arrogant and conceited. But you know even if Lamont wins the nomination in Connecticut does that really mean we are in the midst of a cultural revolution? I think the truth is that America is a very conservative nation. There may be little islands of liberalism but that is all they are little islands of liberalism.

Yes more people now say Iraq was a mistake but that is really due to the failure of the war rather than a waning of their desire of beating the crap out of some Arabs. To interpret this as America turning liberal is a mistake.

So will the internet change things? I doubt it and here is why or at least what I think why. What we already see in the blogosphere is that it is divided into three basic camps. The left those awful lefties who probably had long hair and dropped acid when they were young and are an embarrassment to their oh so much more mature offspring. Then there is the center left as they call themselves mostly the embarrassed offspring of ex hippy acid dropping pot smokers and tree huggers. And thirdly the conservative right the sole proprietors of hard nosed reality, well at least in their own minds. And there seems to be a tendency for these three groups to congregate together and bemoan the other two groups and if a member of one group strays into enemy territory it results in an I am right and you are wrong type of confrontation with no one convincing the other side of anything.

And how many people actually read blogs? About 39 percent of internet users or about 57 million Americans.

The fact is most Americans get their news from local TV stations with their five second blurbs on any given topic with their propensity to be the mouthpieces of the Whitehouse rarely giving relevant facts rather contributing more to the flying saucer crowd than not. So though I enjoy the internet and mining for facts I am far from convinced that the internet will change politics.

Posted by: rob payne at August 5, 2006 03:23 AM

rob payne:

Actually, if that 39 million figure is accurate, more people get their news online than watch a particular local newscast (at either time).

And the "the internets are full of unreliable conspiracy nuts" storyline (like, sooooo 1997)? I remember watching some person shouting down another on some pundity show on CNN, culminating with labeling "oil is a reason for the Bush administration wanting to invade Iraq" a conspiracy theory. I'll take them wacky pamphleteering internets over TV anyday.

Posted by: James Cape at August 5, 2006 09:31 AM

Plus the internet IS the best library I ever stepped into.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at August 5, 2006 09:39 AM

James Cape,

My point was that I don’t think that the internet is going to change politcs not a criticism of the quality of internet versus tv. In fact I have said many times that I do not care for news as presented by tv. I myself prefer reading the news online. I also did not mean to imply that the internet is the leader of conspiracy enthusiasts rather just that people like to believe things that are not true because they want to such as the internet is going to change politics in this country.

Also the figure is 39 percent of people not 39 million people actually if you read the link it said that the 39 percent translates as 57 million and they are talking about people who read blogs not online news.

This link shows a greater percentage of people get their news from local tv.

A graph on this website says,

54 percent watch local tv news.

34 percent watch cable tv news.

28 percent watch nightly network news.

31 percent read on line news.

My own personal opinion is that the news media in this country is just plain awful, I find newspapers to be a little better than the tv news. This is the reason I read blogs which is to find out the stuff that does not get reported or reported wrongly. FAIR is also a place on the internet you can go to learn more than what is presented by the MSM.

Actually I hope I am wrong about the internet not changing politics and that Stirling is correct that it will but considering the conservative nature of America I have a lot of doubts.

Posted by: rob payne at August 5, 2006 02:45 PM

Watching too much star trek?
Smoke a peace pipe with lebanese hasish-

Posted by: gene at August 7, 2006 06:19 AM

No gene, i think i've been watching to much startrek! :P

Posted by: Rush at August 8, 2006 05:18 PM