giovedì 18 febbraio 2016

The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority DI Martin Gurri Chapter 3 My Thesis

The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority DI Martin Gurri  Chapter 3 My Thesis
  • I’m not a visionary prophesying doom.......
  • .If I describe the present accurately, I will have achieved my goal.
  • If, after all these admissions, you were to ask me why you should read on, I would respond:   because the world I’ll describe is probably very different from the one you think you’re living in.example
  • because we still think in categories forged during the industrial age –liberal and conservative, for , or professional and amateur –our minds are blind
  • A War of the Worlds, Deduced From the Devil’s Excrement
  • My thesis is a simple one.   We are caught between an old world which is decreasingly able to sustain us intellectually and spiritually, maybe even materially, and a new world that has not yet been born.   Given the character of the forces of change, we may be stuck for decades in this ungainly posture.
  • Many features we prized about the old world are also threatened: for example, liberal democracy and economic stability.
  • public discussion, may also warp or break from the immoveable resistance of the established order.
  • Each side in the struggle has a standard-bearer: authority for the old... the public for the uncertain dispensation striving to become manifest.
  • The perturbing agent between authority and the public is information.
  • The industrial age insisted on portentous-sounding names of great seriousness..“Bank of America,”“National Broadcasting Corporation,”“New York Times. ”
  • The digital age loves self-mocking names... “Yahoo,”“Google,”“Twitter,”“reddit,”“Flickr,”“Photobucket,”“Bitcoin.”
  • I feel reasonably sure that the founders of Google never contemplated naming their company “National Search Engine Corporation”and Mark Zuckerman of Facebook never felt tempted by “Social Connections Center of America.”  It wasn’t the style. The names of two popular political blogs from the early days of blogging, Glenn Reynolds’Instapundit and Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish, poked fun at the pretentiousness of the news business.
  • The names asserted non-authoritativeness. They created a conscious divide between the old order and the new.
  • Hierarchy has ruled the world since the human race attained meaningful numbers.... From the era of Rameses to that of Hosni Mubarak,
  • Against this citadel of the status quo, the Fifth Wave has raised the network: that is, the public in revolt,
  • Wael Ghonim’s passionate insistence on being an ordinary Egyptian rather than a political leader was an expression of digital culture.
  • If hierarchy worships the established order, the network nurtures a streak of nihilism.
  • The Center Cannot Hold And the Border Has No Clue What To Do About It
  • Another way to characterize the collision of the two worlds is as an episode in the primordial contest between the Center and the Border.
  • Making a program is a center strategy; attacking center programs on behalf of nature, God, or the world is border strategy.
  • Government lost control of its own classified documents.   Book publishers and the TV and movie industries, still very profitable today, depend on technical and copyright regimes which could be breached at any moment.
  • On 9/ 11, a miniscule network of violent men slaughtered thousands of Americans..... Obama, propelled by online networks which generated funds, volunteers, and an effective anti-Center message,
  • sectarian advances have been reversed.   My suspicion is that they must be reversed, if sects –the public in revolt –truly have no interest in governing and possess no capacity for exercising power.
  • The result is paralysis by distrust. The Border, it is already clear, can neutralize but not replace the Center. Networks can protest and overthrow, but never govern.
  • The closest historical parallel to our time may have been the wars of religion of the seventeenth century. I say this not necessarily because of the chaos and bloodshed of the period, but because every principle was contested.... “Who won – Catholics or Protestants?”... Neither won.
  • My great concern as a citizen is for the future of liberal democracy.... That democracy became hierarchical, organizational, an institution of the Center... Many aspects of representative democracy have become less democratic, and are so perceived by the public.
  • How it changes may depend on the aggregated decisions of individual citizens –in other words:   on us –no less than on procedural reforms.
  • Cyber-Utopians, Cyber-Skeptics, Cyber-Pessimists, And How All Their Sound and Fury Signifies Very Little
  • A century of research on media and information effects has delivered confusing if not contradictory findings.
  • 3 modelli
  • 1 do I, in my condition as a member of the public, accept all the mediators’ information, and act accordingly?... Lippmann argued... Propaganda, on this account, injected new opinions and actions directly into the gullible brains of the public.
  • 2 I accept none of the mediators’information, because my moral and political beliefs were formed by “strong”social bonds, like church and family, rather than “weak”links like reading a newspaper?   That also has been proposed, most recently by Malcolm Gladwell
  • 2 bis do I engage in a “two-step”process, in which I first absorb the opinions of a strong personal connection, like a trusted friend or minister, and only then accept certain mediated information?
  • 3 Or is it the case that mediators have no power to control how I think or act, but can command my attention to those public issues... Roland Schatz,
  • Some writers saw in digital media a boost to human collaboration and democracy.   Critics dubbed this tribe cyber-utopians.   Others found in the internet all manner of ills –the corruption of our culture, for example, or an invitation for governments to spy on their citizens.   These were the cyber-pessimists.   A third, much smaller group wondered whether anything important had really changed:   call them cyber-skeptics.
  • Malcolm Gladwell... compared the strong personal ties of the civil rights activists in the 1960s with the weak ties between participants in online causes like the Save Darfur Coalition.   Only strong ties, argued Gladwell, made possible the informal coordination... real politics happened among comrades..Gladwell is a thinker of the Center, a mind of the industrial age.... He explicitly identified strong ties with hierarchy,
  • Clay Shirky has noted that a committed activist with strong personal ties to others also can expand his reach by becoming a Facebook warrior.
  • Gladwell at least grounded his skepticism on a traditional conception of power:   hard trumped soft, scissors always cut paper.   I find it harder to make sense of the warnings of the cyber-pessimists.   pessimists hover somewhere between pointless and trivially true.
  • The favorite goat of cyber-skeptics and cyber-pessimists has been Clay Shirky, whose 2008 book, Here Comes Everybody, was described by Gladwell as “the bible of the social media movement”...Shirky walks on the sunny side of the street,... His message was that the new digital platforms made it easy for groups to “self-assemble,”and that the rise of such spontaneous groups was bound to lead, sooner or later, to social and political change.
  • Ancora la tesi. power has fundamentally shifted between authority and obedience, ruler and ruled, elite and public, so that each can inflict damage on the other but neither can attain a decisive advantage.   That is the non-utopian thesis of this book.
  • Homo Informaticus, Or How Choice Can Bring Down Governments
  • This anxiety to control information in those who already controlled the guns should alert us that political power may be less “hard,”and more intangible, than supposed.
  • Power....a matter of trust, faith, and fear,
  • the potential influence of information over political power flows more from its fit into stories of legitimacy than from, say, investigative reporting
  • the rise of a restless, disruptive organism, which I have taken the bold step to name Homo informaticus... products of....the spread of education, expanded levels of wealth and security, and improved means of communication.
  • Unmediated Man lacked access to any media.   He was likely to be illiterate, and had neither the means nor the interest to travel very far.   His only channels of information were the people around him...... the typical Egyptian of 1980,
  • Il regime.... To impose its will on Unmediated Man, it had to find a way to convey the particulars to him, in the context of a persuasive justifying story.......for the regime to communicate and interact with Unmediated Man in terms advantageous to its story of legitimacy, it needed only to control the community... regime appointed the local authorities
  • Unmediated Man....may have protested, even violently, against local conditions, but he could never seek to overthrow the political system.
  • Homo informaticus is a differently-endowed member of the public: he’s literate, and has access to newspapers, radio, movies, TV. He has been exposed to a larger world beyond the immediate community..... conceives of an alternative form of government
  • To cover the threat, the regime must deploy a costly and elaborate state media apparatus.... control, the means of mass communication: newspapers, radio, TV, books, cinema, etc.
  • regime’s story of legitimacy are gone forever.   Under these conditions, the best outcome for the regime is acceptance by the public that the world is too complex to be understood
  • we can say with confidence that it won’t be triggered unless the public is shown a differently-ordered world:   a choice.
  • A trivial example would be a TV commercial for a new, improved dishwasher detergent. A political example was the jolt of hope experienced by the Egyptian opposition after the fall of Ben Ali in Tunisia.
  • If H. informaticus were to try to absorb this mass, his head would explode.   This is not what transpires.   He will pick and choose.   So will other members of the public.   By that very selectivity, that freedom to choose its channels of information, the public breaks the power of the mediator class created by mass media, and, under authoritarian rule, controlled by the regime.
  • An accurate representation based on volume would show state media to be microscopic, invisible,
  • The regime accumulates pain points: police brutality, economic mismanagement, foreign policy failures...... In essence, government failure now sets the agenda.
  • At this stage, the public, clustered around networked communities
  • hypotheses sulla relazione info-potere
  • 1 Information influences politics because it is indigestible by a government’s justifying story.
  • 2 The greater the diffusion of information to the public, the more illegitimate any political status quo will appear.
  • 3 Homo informaticus, networked builder and wielder of the information sphere, poses an existential challenge to the legitimacy of every government he encounters.
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