Wednesday, March 3, 2010

www= wild wild west

I thought Manovich's comparison between the internet and the American Wild West was interesting.

Thus we may connect the American ideology of democracy with its paranoid fear of hierarchy and centralized control with the flat structure of the Web, where every page exists on the same level of importance as any other and where any two sources connected through hyperlinking have equal weight.

(Thus we have bands that become popular through MySpace and word of mouth, blogs scooping the main stream news media on a story, etc.. the internet as a tool for circumventing traditional authority, a tool for perfecting democracy.)

But the Wild West gets tamed eventually. Will the wild space that we have discovered in the internet become similarly compartmentalized? For example, the New York Times will no longer be free, google searches display "sponsored links" before other links that more precisely matched the query that was inputted, exclusive websites for shopping such as Gilt are thriving.

What is the relationship between the internet and democracy?

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