lunedì 15 febbraio 2016

The Revolt of the Public di Martin Gurri - cap 1 e cap2

The Revolt of the Public di Martin Gurri Chapter 1 Prelude to a Turbulent Age

  • Cosa connette tra loro questi eventi?: online universities...serial insurgencies which, in media noise and human blood, have rocked the Arab Middle East... faster churning of companies in and out of the S& P 500...death of news... Facebook.... google... smartphone... crisis of government in liberal democracies...
  • an old, entrenched social order is passing away even as I write these words –one rooted in the hierarchies and conventions of industrial life.   Since no substitute has appeared on the horizon, we should, as tourists flying into the unknown,
  • Information Is Cool, So Why Did It Explode?
  • I also held the belief that information of the sort found in newspapers and television reports was identical to knowledge –so the more information, the better.   This was naïve
  • A curious thing happens to sources of information under conditions of scarcity. They become authoritative... Cronkite emanated authority.
  • as ever more published reports escaped the control of authoritative sources, how could we tell truth from error?   Or, in a more sinister vein, honest research from manipulation?
  • A resident of Cairo, who in the 1980s could only stare dully at one of two state-owned channels showing all Mubarak all the time, by the 2000s had access to more than 400 national and international stations.
  • More information was generated in 2001 than in all the previous existence of our species on earth.   In fact, 2001 doubled the previous total.   And 2002 doubled the amount present in 2001,
  • How Walter Cronkite Became Katie Couric And the Audience Became the Public
  • whatever sources I chose, I was left in a state of uncertainty –a permanent condition for analysis under the new dispensation. Uncertainty is an acid, corrosive to authority.
  • a cloud of suspicion about cherry-picking data will hang over every authoritative judgment.
  • Public discussion, for example, was limited to a very few topics of interest to the articulate elites.
  • our sense of what is important fractured along the edges of countless niche interests.
  • the pathologies involved,...
  • the relationship between elites and non-elites, between authority and obedience.   That passive mass audience on which so many political and economic institutions depended
  • communities relied on digital platforms for self-expression. They were vital and mostly virtual
  • The voice of the vital communities was a new voice:   that of the amateur, of the educated non-elites, of a disaffected and unruly public.
  • Communities of interest reflected the true and abiding tastes of the public.   The docile mass audience, so easily persuaded by advertisers and politicians, had been a monopolist’s fantasy
  • When digital magic transformed information consumers into producers, an established order –grand hierarchies of power and money and learning –went into crisis. I have touched on the manner of the reaction:   not worry or regret over lost influence, but moral outrage and condemnation, sometimes accompanied by calls for repression.
  • the truly epochal change, it turned out, was the revolution in the relationship between the public and authority in almost every domain
  • I Christen the New Age And Other Definitional Illusions
  • the slow-motion collision of two modes of organizing life:   one hierarchical, industrial, and top-down, the other networked, egalitarian, bottom-up.
  • Lippmann was a brilliant political analyst, editor, and commentator. He wrote during the apogee of the top-down, industrial era of information... There was, Lippmann brooded, no “intrinsic moral and intellectual virtue to majority rule.”Lippmann’s disenchantment with democracy anticipated the mood of today’s elites.   From the top, the public, and the swings of public opinion, appeared irrational and uninformed... “private citizen,”was a political amateur, a sheep in need of a shepherd,
  • authority is a bit more like beauty:   we know it when we see it.
  • The person in authority is a trained professional.   He’s an expert with access to hidden knowledge.   He perches near the top of some specialized hierarchy... he got there by a torturous process of accreditation,
  • A cosa serve il monopolio nell'informazione e nella scuola...A crucial connection, as I said earlier, exists between institutional authority and monopoly conditions:   to the degree that an institution can command its field of play, its word will tend to go unchallenged.   This, rather than the obvious asymmetry in voice modulation, explains the difference between Cronkite and Katie Couric.
  • The new age we have entered needs a name...“networked age,... “Digital age”........“digital revolution”
  • Rivoluzioni
  • 1 The invention of writing, for example... led to a form of government dependent on a mandarin or priestly caste.
  • 2 The development of the alphabet was another: the republics of the classical world would have been unable to function without literate citizens.
  • 3 A third wave, the arrival of the printing press and moveable type, was probably the most disruptive of all.   The Reformation, modern science, and the American and French revolutions would scarcely have been possible without printed books and pamphlets.
  • 4 mass media. Industria
  • 5 I think I have already established that we stand, everywhere, at the first moment of what promises to be a cataclysmic expansion of information and communication technology.
  • >
Chapter 2 Hoder and Wael Ghonim
  • Hossein Derakhshan, better known by his blogname “Hoder,” at a bloggers’ convention... Hoder was technically savvy: that was his claim to fame. But, for an Iranian and a supposed dissident, I found him surprisingly naïve... he was full of strange ideas about neocons conspiring with other Iranian exiles whom he didn’t like.... a very likeable person, possessed of a very ordinary intellect.
  • A Twenty-Something in Toronto Opens a New Continent of Expression for Iranians
  • He was not a politician, not a revolutionary, not a genius, not a scholar –not an authority of any sort.... chi era? the gifted amateur, propelled to unexpected places by the new information technology.
  • In theory, the Iranian regime is a Platonic republic, with wise guardians protecting the moral... Recent history has seen cycles of superficial reforms to open up the system,
  • it was during one of the moments of relative calm that the young Hoder began his career as an observer of the digital universe
  • the ruling class confronted what has come to be called “the dictator’s dilemma”... For security reasons, dictators must control and restrict communications to a minimum.   To make their rule legitimate, however, they need prosperity, which can only be attained by the open exchange of information.   Choose.
  • North Korea, for example, stands at the restrictive extreme.
  • Egyptian dictator, Hosni Mubarak, lost power in part because of his vacillations
  • Iran’s rulers chose differently.   Formally at least, they embraced blogging... and encouraged regime supporters to get online... Whole swaths of Blogistan are thus dedicated to “conservative” political and religious views.... the regime also blocked many websites, and currently holds the world record for bloggers thrown in jail.
  • An Insignificant Man Threatens The Sanctities of a Very Large Nation
  • I ran across him in Nashville, he seemed less a blogfather than an orphaned techno-gypsy, drifting from conference to conference.
  • in the fall of 2008, Hoder travelled to Tehran.   And so it happened that, on the first day of November, the Iranian authorities at last caught up with the insignificant man:   they arrested Hoder...... 19 ½ years of incarceration for the crime of blogging. Idle to speculate why Hoder returned to Iran:   he was, as I noted, of a naïve and unrealistic temperament.
  • Why did they arrest Hoder? Why the inordinate punishment? What did they, in full possession of great power and authority, fear from this ordinary person?
  • Life is bad if you’re a blogger in many parts of the world. That can be the simple story of Hoder’s private Calvary.
  • The cause for anger or fear in a person of great material authority confronted with information generally –with information as information –is thus never a given, I maintain, but rather is a mystery
  • In fact, he stood for the loss of monopoly over information,
  • A good place to start is with the formal charges..... “insulting the sanctities”... They speak when there should be silence...It is the speaking that is taboo.
  •   It’s the alien voice of the amateur, of the ordinary person, of the public, that is an abomination... This, not from selfish motives, no, not in the least –for the good of humanity.   Their authority rests on the moral order of the world.   Any challenge, however insignificant, isn’t just a potential threat to them but a violation of that order,
  • Democratically elected governments have reacted in the same way.   Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is his country’s most popular politician in generations, having comfortably won several national elections.
  • When protests broke out in Istanbul over government plans to build a shopping mall on the site of a park, then spread throughout Turkey and acquired a definite anti-Erdogan edge, the Turkish news media ignored the events.
  • Erdogan’s minister of interior announced that “provocations on social media”were to be targets of criminal
  • people in the news business have converted the economic failure of the daily newspaper into a danger not just to their own livelihoods, but to the fabric of democratic life.   When, for example, Nicholas Kristof brooded on the “decline of traditional news media”which pays his salary, he evoked a dismal future of “polarization and
  • Fanning released the first version of Napster in June 1999.   He was 18, an unknown teenager without money or business connections,
  • The noise of condemnation by defenders of the music and allied industries was Erdogan-worthy.....Jack Valenti, head of the Motion Pictures Association of America, portrayed the corporate interests he represented as “the backbone of America’s creative community”
  • Hilary Rosen, head of the Recording Industry Association of America:   “what Napster is doing…is legally and morally wrong.”
  • If Jack Valenti had had the power to convict Shawn Fanning to 19 ½ years
  • A Burning Man on Facebook Lights the Way for Political Change in Tunisia
  • Bouazizi burned to death in front of a camera.   For as long as digital images hold true, we will watch him explode into flames, still walking, at a nondescript public square.   This image was impossible to absorb without feeling pain and horror.... The photos of Bouazizi’s self-immolation were posted on Facebook, and aroused strong emotions in and out of Tunisia.
  • The industrial age depended on chunky blocks of text to influence government and opinion.   The new digital world has preferred the power of the visual.
  • most of Al Jazeera’s Tunisia footage came from cell phone
  • The point I want to drive home is that there is now massive redundancy in the transmission of information.
  • A Google Employee in Dubai Schedules an Egyptian Revolution as a Facebook Event
  • A mostly disorganized public toppled a regime which had ruled with unquestioned authority for 23 years.
  • virtual invitation to revolution scheduled on Facebook Events.
  • I want to move directly to a specific moment:   January 14, 2011, when Ghonim, inspired by events in Tunisia, posted on the “Khaled Said”page a call for protests for January 25, the “Police Day”holiday in Egypt.   Ghonim gave the event its name:   “Revolution Against Torture, Poverty, Corruption, and Unemployment.”  And he created a Facebook Event for it.
  • two technical obstacles....One obstacle pertained to the number of Egyptians Ghonim could actually reach.... The other raised the question whether the psychological distance between virtual and real
  • Roland Schatz,.. “Critical mass”occurs at between 10 and 20 percent of adoption –the level at which enough diffusion networks become “infected”by the virus of change to make the latter
  • It’s simply false to say that the public can’t make the leap between virtual and real politics.   The problem has been posed in terms of online “weak bonds”as against real-life “strong bonds”
  • A Very Old Man Shuts Down the Web Then Falls Through the Trap Door of the Information Sphere
  • I’m not saying that Ghonim and the internet caused Egypt’s revolution.... one cause out of many.
  • I’m also not asserting the primacy of the internet... Primacy goes to that massively redundant information sphere, which has absorbed new and old media alike.
  • Hosni Mubarak wished to modernize Egypt.   Modern countries boasted an abundance of TV channels and content.   Mubarak gambled that his regime could control the information pouring out of new channels.
  • Ghonim’s raw, emotional performance on Dream TV has been credited with turning the tide decisively in favor of the protesters....... Dream TV... However, compared to state-owned television, this was indirect control.
  • Unlike, say, TV or Facebook, the information sphere can’t be blocked by government.... This was demonstrated under almost laboratory conditions in Egypt on Friday, January 28, 2011:... Mobile phone service was disrupted as well.... Demonstrations planned after Friday prayers in many Egyptian cities were the immediate cause of the shutdown.
  • Starting with the octogenarian Mubarak, the people who ran the regime had come to power during the industrial age of information.
continua