Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Is the Internet now a fixed feature of human culture like language?

Share the Point: If yougovernment shuts down the Internet, shut dow...: "If your government shuts down the Ineternet, shut down your government. A slogan that Americans debating a 'Internet off switch' should consider"

We have seen in Egypt what a government turning the Internet of looks like. Its not a security measure, its not something any society would ever want, and its not a power a President should. It is only an oppressive action.

And as we learned in Egypt this week, it may no longer be possible. The Internet may have entered our collective social inheritance for future generations, like language or mythology. Something no state can take away.

Orwell tried to imagine a regime so oppressive that in the end it would try to take language away. Once of the striking things about 1984 is how impossible much of the project of the entire novel seems. How cold a culture which turns on everyone and destroys all knowledge continue to maintain the needed technology and civil control to to stay in power.

The thing about 1984 is that it is impossible. The novel is a nightmare sequences, extending the negative side of power to a point beyond the possible.

And I think today closing the Internet down is beyond the possible.

Bob Hooker

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