A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

You spend an awful lot of time “online” and to justify your addiction you speak a lot about the “revolutionary potential” of the internet. You’re not the only one, a lot of people do, many of them with very different visions of how the “revolution” will play out. For some it revolutionises the world through the expansion of markets, the spread of capitalism and the weakening of state power. For others it democratises the world, where once people were subject to the whims of the powerful now they have the foremost organising tool at their fingertips. Some say it enlightens mankind, never more has so much knowledge been available to so many, so fast, we will all become enlightened and educated in the illuminating glow emanating from our screens.

There are darker narratives of the internet’s power too, that it enables more oppressive forms of state control, rather than liberates man from it. That it damages our capacity to think on a deeper level in the eternal quest for new information. That it segregates man into self-reinforcing thought bubbles and reduce his contact with those ideas he finds challenging. That it destroys real “meatspace” social bonds, bonds which come with duties and responsibilities to the other, and replaces them with low investment transitory social “fixes”. That it enables the spread of dangerous information, encourages violent non-state actors and lowers the threshold for carrying out large scale violence.

You have read about all these narratives, and they may all contain a kernel of truth, but you cannot dwell on it too long because there are so many frontiers to explore. You have a gist, and you are sure that it should be enough.

Maybe you could have been someone, but …just one more page, one more argument, one more idea.

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