Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Beware of information geeks

James Harkin sounds a rallying call for all those suspicious of digital zealots:

'We should be wary of letting the information geeks inherit
the earth, wary of replacing the crumbling authority of the media and political
classes with a glut of electronic information and phantom ideas about democracy
and equality. Whatever the prophets of the net say, information is not power.
Power is power, and the relentless gush of electronic information and
invitations to feedback which now come our way can often obscure where real
power lies. http://jamesharkin.co.uk/
In an essay destined for the New Statesman Harkin has some sharp comments on the launch of President Obama's new Online Town Hall, especially the rather odd question imbalance shown by this new example of so-called web 'democracy.' Harkins is rightly surprised that at a time of economic difficulty most of the questions which made it through were about the decriminalization of dope. Harkins uses the essay to warm up the more sustained critique of direct communication developed in his book Lost in Cyburbia. A pithy review of this new title appeared recently in Canada's National Post

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