mfioretti: californian ideology*

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  1. There is an emerging global orthodoxy concerning the relation between society, technology and politics. We have called this orthodoxy “the Californian Ideology” in honour of the state where it originated. By naturalising and giving a technological proof to a libertarian political philosophy, and therefore foreclosing on alternative futures, the Californian Ideologues are able to assert that social and political debates about the future have now become meaningless.

    The paper was published by Mute magazine. Barbrook later summarized it as a "critique of dotcom neoliberalism." Like most important theories, the Californian Ideology is invoked more than it is read. Punctilious political documentarian Adam Curtis made a movie about it, titled "Love and Power."

    In their work, Barbrook and Cameron dissected the Valley's belief structure. The two predicted much of what has since come to pass: that the Californian Ideology would spread through media and markets and become the unofficial reigning doctrine of God's favorite industrial-technical power, the United States.



    Here's how important Barbrook and Cameron's paper was: twenty years after the paper was first published, Wired — which, again, was one of the targets of the critique — published a commemoration of the essay, written by none of other than science fiction legend Bruce Sterling. Sterling called the essay "the iconic text of the first wave of Net criticism." He continued:

    The internet might have fundamentally changed in the last two decades, but their demolition of the neoliberal orthodoxies of Silicon Valley remains shocking and provocative. They question the cult of the dot-com entrepreneur, challenging the theory of technological determinism and refuting the myths of American history. Denounced as the work of ‘looney lefties’ by Silicon Valley’s boosters when it first appeared, The Californian Ideology has since been vindicated by the corporate take-over of the Net and the exposure of the NSA’s mass surveillance programmes. . . . With the Californian Ideology growing stronger, the Net was celebrated as the mechanical perfection of neoliberal economics.

    Barbrook and Cameron's essential point is this: tech culture is right-wing economics covered over with a layer of hippie rhetoric. The term "neoliberalism" wasn't popularly known back then, but that's essentially what the Californian Ideology was: social progressivism joined with economic conservatism. By 1995, the Democratic Party was a neoliberal party. If you're wondering where corporate wokeness comes from, that's where. With a yearning to frustrate English teachers, the Boomers wanted to do well and to do good at the same time. The end result of Boomer-era neoliberalism is epitomized in the Fearless Girl statue: a feminist image on Wall Street . . . funded by a trading firm that underpays women. Wokeness in doctrine, brutality in practice.

    However, the Californian Ideology was far more radical, far stranger than Clintonian triangulation. It was a religious creed. Its central tenet was uncomplicated: the machines would fix everything.

    Groups exist, and decisions have to be made by those groups. Any group where decision-making processes are banned -- where there are no politics -- can't work. What ended up happening on the hippie farms was this: decision making was relegated to a few people. The communes fell apart, but the idea lived on. In time, the hippies joined up with the libertarians. They had two things in common: they believed in self-correcting systems, and they didn't like the government. And so Silicon Valley was born.

    It was paradoxical poetry that this marriage of optimism and convenience happened in California, as Barbrook and Cameron wrote:

    One of the weirdest things about the rightwards drift of the Californian Ideology is that the West Coast itself is a creation of the mixed economy. Government dollars were used to build the irrigation systems, highways, schools, universities and other infrastructural projects which makes the good life possible in California. On top of these public subsidies, the West Coast hi-tech industrial complex has been feasting off the fattest pork barrel in history for decades. . . . Although they were later commercialised, community media, “new age” spiritualism, surfing, health food, recreational drugs, pop music and many other forms of cultural heterodoxy all emerged from the decidedly non-commercial scenes based around university campuses, artists' communities and rural communes.

    The liberals made their compromise. The '60s had failed to bring about the millennium, but that was okay: computers would realize all of those ideals. For instance, it wasn't necessary to remove the concrete reality of patriarchy and white supremacy: once everybody was online, those differences wouldn't matter at all. So what if your town was gangrenous after the factory left? There would be a new job waiting for you online.
    https://www.salon.com/2018/04/01/the-religious-creed-of-silicon-valley
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  2. Which brings us back to Facebook, which to this day seems at best to dimly understand how the news business works, as is evident in its longstanding insistence that it's not a media company. Wired was even inspired to publish a sarcastic self-help quiz for Facebook execs on "How to tell if you're a media company." It included such questions as "Are you the country's largest source of news?"

    The answer is a resounding yes. An astonishing 45 percent of Americans get their news from this single source. Add Google, and above 70 percent of Americans get their news from a pair of outlets. The two firms also ate up about 89 percent of the digital-advertising growth last year, underscoring their monopolistic power in this industry.

    Facebook's cluelessness on this front makes the ease with which it took over the press that much more bizarre to contemplate. Of course, the entire history of Facebook is pretty weird, even by Silicon Valley standards, beginning with the fact that the firm thinks of itself as a movement and not a giant money-sucking machine.


    That Facebook saw meteoric rises without ever experiencing a big dip in users might have something to do with the fact that the site was consciously designed to be addictive, as early founder Parker recently noted at a conference in Philadelphia.

    Facebook is full of features such as "likes" that dot your surfing experience with neuro-rushes of micro-approval – a "little dopamine hit," as Parker put it. The hits might come with getting a like when you post a picture of yourself thumbs-upping the world's third-largest cheese wheel, or flashing the "Live Long and Prosper" sign on International Star Trek day, or whatever the hell it is you do in your cyber-time. "It's a social-validation feedback loop," Parker explained. "Exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you're exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology."
    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics...e-be-saved-social-media-giant-w518655
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  3. The point is not that making a world to accommodate oneself is bad, but that when one has as much power over the rest of the world as the tech sector does, over folks who don’t naturally share its worldview, then there is a risk of a strange imbalance. The tech world is predominantly male—very much so. Testosterone combined with a drive to eliminate as much interaction with real humans as possible—do the math, and there’s the future.

    We’ve gotten used to service personnel and staff who have no interest or participation in the businesses where they work. They have no incentive to make the products or the services better. This is a long legacy of the assembly line, standardising, franchising and other practices that increase efficiency and lower costs. It’s a small step then from a worker that doesn’t care to a robot. To consumers, it doesn’t seem like a big loss.

    Those who oversee the AI and robots will, not coincidentally, make a lot of money as this trend towards less human interaction continues and accelerates—as many of the products produced above are hugely and addictively convenient. Google, Facebook and other companies are powerful and yes, innovative, but the innovation curiously seems to have had an invisible trajectory. Our imaginations are constrained by who and what we are. We are biased in our drives, which in some ways is good, but maybe some diversity in what influences the world might be reasonable and may be beneficial to all.

    To repeat what I wrote above—humans are capricious, erratic, emotional, irrational and biased in what sometimes seem like counterproductive ways. I’d argue that though those might seem like liabilities, many of those attributes actually work in our favor. Many of our emotional responses have evolved over millennia, and they are based on the probability that our responses, often prodded by an emotion, will more likely than not offer the best way to deal with a situation.

    Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio wrote about a patient he called Elliot, who had damage to his frontal lobe that made him unemotional. In all other respects he was fine—intelligent, healthy—but emotionally he was Spock. Elliot couldn’t make decisions. He’d waffle endlessly over details. Damasio concluded that though we think decision-making is rational and machinelike, it’s our emotions that enable us to actually decide.

    With humans being somewhat unpredictable (well, until an algorithm completely removes that illusion), we get the benefit of surprises, happy accidents and unexpected connections and intuitions. Interaction, cooperation and collaboration with others multiplies those opportunities.

    We’re a social species—we benefit from passing discoveries on, and we benefit from our tendency to cooperate to achieve what we cannot alone. In his book, Sapiens, Yuval Harari claims this is what allowed us to be so successful. He also claims that this cooperation was often facilitated by a possibility to believe in “fictions” such as nations, money, religions and legal institutions. Machines don’t believe in fictions, or not yet anyway. That’s not to say they won’t surpass us, but if machines are designed to be mainly self-interested, they may hit a roadblock. If less human interaction enables us to forget how to cooperate, then we lose our advantage.

    Our random accidents and odd behaviors are fun—they make life enjoyable. I’m wondering what we’re left with when there are fewer and fewer human interactions. Remove humans from the equation and we are less complete as people or as a society. “We” do not exist as isolated individuals—we as individuals are inhabitants of networks, we are relationships. That is how we prosper and thrive.
    http://davidbyrne.com/journal/eliminating-the-human
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  4. Danny Crichton writes at TechCrunch that startups in Silicon Valley run on an alchemy of ignorance and amnesia and that lying is a requisite and daily part of being a founder, the grease that keeps the startup flywheel running. Most startups fail. The vast, vast majority of startup employees will never exercise their options, let alone become millionaires while doing it. But founders have little choice as they sell their company to everyone, whether investors, employees, potential employees, or clients. "Founders have to tell the lie – that everything is fine, that a feature is going to launch even though the engineer for that feature hasn't been hired yet, that payroll will run even though the VC dollars are still nowhere on the horizon," writes Crichton. "For one of the most hyper-rational populations in the world, Silicon Valley runs off a myth about startup success, of the lowly founder conquering the world."
    https://techcrunch.com/2015/07/25/startups-and-the-big-lie/#.r3fic7:bO3Q
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  5. That idea of efficiency through speed brought by the tech industry has consequences for society. First, the immediacy of the communications creates moments of intense information overload and distractions. Like other moments of major revolution in information technology, people are racing behind to adapt to the increasing pace of information exchange. In the Big Now, the pool of instantaneous information has dramatically increased, however the pool of available understanding of what that information means has not. People and organizations are still seeking new practices and means to filter, categorize and prioritize information in a world obsessed with the production and consumption of the freshest data points (see Social media at human pace). Doing so, they animate almost uniquely their capacity to fast-check status updates and leave their ability for reflection unstimulated (see, in French, L’écologie de l’attention). The Big Now is not designed for people to step back and understand information in a bigger context (e.g. poor debates in the recent US elections, inability to foresee the 2008 economic crisis). It is only recently that alternatives have started to emerge. For example, the recent strategic changes at Medium proposes to reverse the tendency:

    “We believe people who write and share ideas should be rewarded on their ability to enlighten and inform, not simply their ability to attract a few seconds of attention”.

    Secondly, the asynchronous Internet diminished the frontiers between work, family and leisure. In response, the tech world proposes to ‘hack’ time and to remove frictions (e.g. Soylent diet) to free up time. The flourishing personal productivity books and apps promise peace of mind with time-management advice tailored to the era of connected devices (see The global village and its discomfort). However, like building bigger roads make traffic worse, many of these solutions only provide a quick fix that induces even busier and more stressed lifestyles (see Why time management is ruining our lives). In the Big Now and its cybernetic loops, the more efficient we get at doing things and the more data we generate, the faster the Internet gets back to us, keeps us busy and grabs our limited amount of attention. Besides the promises of time-compression technologies to save us valuable time and free us for life’s important things, in the past half-century, leisure time has remained overall about the same (see Fast-world values).

    Try to imagine another version of the Internet in which the sense of simultaneity that Adam Greenfield described moves to the background of our lives and leaves stage for temporal depth and quality. Connecting people to share and collaborate has been a wonderful thing. Today, I believe that giving us the time to think will be even better (see The collaboration curse). As an illustration, regardless of current methodological trends, creativity rarely emerges rapidly. Many ideas need time to mature, they need different contexts or mindsets to get stronger. This does not often happen when teams are in ‘sprints’ or a young start-up feels under the gun in its ‘incubator’. I participated in ‘start-up accelerator’ mentoring sessions in which I advised young entrepreneurs to step back and consider if their objectives were about speed and scale. Many of them were lured by that Silicon Valley’s unicorn fantasy. Not surprisingly, the first startup decelerator program has now been created, and socratic design workshops are becoming a thing for tech executives to reconsider what’s important.
    https://medium.com/@girardin/after-the-big-now-f0a3f1857294
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  6. At the end of the twentieth century, the long predicted convergence of the media, computing and telecommunications into hypermedia is finally happening. 2 » Once again, capitalism’s relentless drive to diversify and intensify the creative powers of human labour is on the verge of qualitatively transforming the way in which we work, play and live together. By integrating different technologies around common protocols, something is being created which is more than the sum of its parts. When the ability to produce and receive unlimited amounts of information in any form is combined with the reach of the global telephone networks, existing forms of work and leisure can be fundamentally transformed. New industries will be born and current stock market favourites will swept away. At such moments of profound social change, anyone who can offer a simple explanation of what is happening will be listened to with great interest. At this crucial juncture, a loose alliance of writers, hackers, capitalists and artists from the West Coast of the USA have succeeded in defining a heterogeneous orthodoxy for the coming information age: the Californian Ideology.

    This new faith has emerged from a bizarre fusion of the cultural bohemianism of San Francisco with the hi-tech industries of Silicon Valley. Promoted in magazines, books, TV programmes, websites, newsgroups and Net conferences, the Californian Ideology promiscuously combines the free-wheeling spirit of the hippies and the entrepreneurial zeal of the yuppies. This amalgamation of opposites has been achieved through a profound faith in the emancipatory potential of the new information technologies. In the digital utopia, everybody will be both hip and rich. Not surprisingly, this optimistic vision of the future has been enthusiastically embraced by computer nerds, slacker students, innovative capitalists, social activists, trendy academics, futurist bureaucrats and opportunistic politicians across the USA. As usual, Europeans have not been slow in copying the latest fad from America. While a recent EU Commission report recommends following the Californian free market model for building the information superhighway, cutting-edge artists and academics eagerly imitate the post human philosophers of the West Coast’s Extropian cult. 3 » With no obvious rivals, the triumph of the Californian Ideology appears to be complete.

    The widespread appeal of these West Coast ideologues isn’t simply the result of their infectious optimism. Above all, they are passionate advocates of what appears to be an impeccably libertarian form of politics – they want information technologies to be used to create a new ‘Jeffersonian democracy’ where all individuals will be able to express themselves freely within cyberspace. 4 » However, by championing this seemingly admirable ideal, these techno-boosters are at the same time reproducing some of the most atavistic features of American society, especially those derived from the bitter legacy of slavery. Their utopian vision of California depends upon a wilful blindness towards the other – much less positive – features of life on the West Coast: racism, poverty and environmental degradation. 5 » Ironically, in the not too distant past, the intellectuals and artists of the Bay Area were passionately concerned about these issues.
    http://www.imaginaryfutures.net/2007/04/17/the-californian-ideology-2
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  7. Let's start with the most theoretically minded, and probably most interesting, branch of the alt-right: the neoreactionaries.

    In 2007, a writer with the pen name Mencius Moldbug (née Curtis Yarvin) started a blog called Unqualified Reservations. He proceeded to write essays that would inspire a whole movement of online political writers. The neoreactionaries drew inspiration from earlier paleoconservatives like Pat Buchanan and Joseph Sobran but with a tech-y twist. Moldbug, for one, is a veteran Bay Area programmer currently working on a startup he cofounded called Urbit.

    And the core contention of Moldbug and the other NRx thinkers is one that's been common in technolibertarian circles for a long time: Democracy is a failure.

    "Democracy is — as most writers before the 19th century agreed — an ineffective and destructive system of government," Moldbug writes. Moldbug doesn't actually like the term "democracy." He prefers "demotism," or rule of the people, a label under which he sweeps modern-day developed democracies like the US or Western Europe but also the former Soviet bloc, Nazism, and fascism. "Universalist lawful democracy is the least demotist of demotisms, Demotism Lite if you will," he writes. "Compared to Communism and Nazism, there's much to be said for it. But this is a rather low bar."

    The purpose of government, in the view of neoreactionaries, isn't to represent the will of the people. It's to govern well, full stop. "From the perspective of its subjects, what counts is not who runs the government but what the government does," Moldbug explains. "Good government is effective, lawful government. Bad government is ineffective, lawless government. How anyone reasonable could disagree with these statements is quite beyond me. And yet clearly almost everyone does."

    And democratic government, the neoreactionaries insist, is not effective, lawful government. Because the will of the people is arbitrary and varying, it cannot have the consistency of real, durable law, and it creates incentives for wasteful and, worse still, left-wing government. Moldbug started as an Austrian-school libertarian, and most neoreactionaries have general small-government sympathies and express a fear that democracy inevitably leads to ever greater taxation and redistribution, and otherwise encroaches on individual liberty.
    http://www.vox.com/2016/4/18/11434098/alt-right-explained
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  8. Already a fourth of the adults actually employed in the US are paid wages lower than would lift them above the official poverty line – and so a fifth of American children live in poverty. Almost half of employed adults in this country are eligible for food stamps (most of those who are eligible don’t apply). The market in labour has broken down, along with most others.

    Those jobs that disappeared in the Great Recession just aren’t coming back, regardless of what the unemployment rate tells you – the net gain in jobs since 2000 still stands at zero – and if they do return from the dead, they’ll be zombies, those contingent, part-time or minimum-wage jobs where the bosses shuffle your shift from week to week: welcome to Wal-Mart, where food stamps are a benefit.

    And don’t tell me that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour solves the problem. No one can doubt the moral significance of the movement. But at this rate of pay, you pass the official poverty line only after working 29 hours a week. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25. Working a 40-hour week, you would have to make $10 an hour to reach the official poverty line. What, exactly, is the point of earning a paycheck that isn’t a living wage, except to prove that you have a work ethic?

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    But, wait, isn’t our present dilemma just a passing phase of the business cycle? What about the job market of the future? Haven’t the doomsayers, those damn Malthusians, always been proved wrong by rising productivity, new fields of enterprise, new economic opportunities? Well, yeah – until now, these times. The measurable trends of the past half-century, and the plausible projections for the next half-century, are just too empirically grounded to dismiss as dismal science or ideological hokum. They look like the data on climate change – you can deny them if you like, but you’ll sound like a moron when you do.

    For example, the Oxford economists who study employment trends tell us that almost half of existing jobs, including those involving ‘non-routine cognitive tasks’ – you know, like thinking – are at risk of death by computerisation within 20 years.

    So this Great Recession of ours – don’t kid yourself, it ain’t over – is a moral crisis as well as an economic catastrophe. You might even say it’s a spiritual impasse, because it makes us ask what social scaffolding other than work will permit the construction of character – or whether character itself is something we must aspire to. But that is why it’s also an intellectual opportunity: it forces us to imagine a world in which the job no longer builds our character, determines our incomes or dominates our daily lives.

    What would you do if you didn’t have to work to receive an income?

    In short, it lets us say: enough already. Fuck work.

    Certainly this crisis makes us ask: what comes after work? What would you do without your job as the external discipline that organises your waking life – as the social imperative that gets you up and on your way to the factory, the office, the store, the warehouse, the restaurant, wherever you work and, no matter how much you hate it, keeps you coming back? What would you do if you didn’t have to work to receive an income?

    And what would society and civilisation be like if we didn’t have to ‘earn’ a living – if leisure was not our choice but our lot? Would we hang out at the local Starbucks, laptops open? Or volunteer to teach children in less-developed places, such as Mississippi? Or smoke weed and watch reality TV all day?

    I’m not proposing a fancy thought experiment here. By now these are practical questions because there aren’t enough jobs. So it’s time we asked even more practical questions. How do you make a living without a job – can you receive income without working for it? Is it possible, to begin with and then, the hard part, is it ethical? If you were raised to believe that work is the index of your value to society – as most of us were – would it feel like cheating to get something for nothing?

    We already have some provisional answers because we’re all on the dole, more or less. The fastest growing component of household income since 1959 has been ‘transfer payments’ from government. By the turn of the 21st century, 20 per cent of all household income came from this source – from what is otherwise known as welfare or ‘entitlements’.

    you will say – along with every economist from Dean Baker to Greg Mankiw, Left to Right – that raising taxes on corporate income is a disincentive to investment and thus job creation. Or that it will drive corporations overseas, where taxes are lower.

    But in fact raising taxes on corporate income can’t have these effects.

    Let’s work backward. Corporations have been ‘multinational’ for quite some time. In the 1970s and ’80s, before Ronald Reagan’s signature tax cuts took effect, approximately 60 per cent of manufactured imported goods were produced offshore, overseas, by US companies. That percentage has risen since then, but not by much.

    Chinese workers aren’t the problem – the homeless, aimless idiocy of corporate accounting is. That is why the Citizens United decision of 2010 applying freedom of speech regulations to campaign spending is hilarious. Money isn’t speech, any more than noise is. The Supreme Court has conjured a living being, a new person, from the remains of the common law, creating a real world more frightening than its cinematic equivalent: say, Frankenstein, Blade Runner or, more recently, Transformers.

    But the bottom line is this. Most jobs aren’t created by private, corporate investment, so raising taxes on corporate income won’t affect employment.

    When we place our faith in hard work, we’re wishing for the creation of character; but we’re also hoping, or expecting, that the labour market will allocate incomes fairly and rationally. And there’s the rub, they do go together. Character can be created on the job only when we can see that there’s an intelligible, justifiable relation between past effort, learned skills and present reward.

    Securing ‘full employment’ has become a bipartisan goal at the very moment it has become both impossible and unnecessary. Sort of like securing slavery in the 1850s or segregation in the 1950s.

    Why?

    Because work means everything to us inhabitants of modern market societies – regardless of whether it still produces solid character and allocates incomes rationally, and quite apart from the need to make a living. It’s been the medium of most of our thinking about the good life since Plato correlated craftsmanship and the possibility of ideas as such. It’s been our way of defying death, by making and repairing the durable things, the significant things we know will last beyond our allotted time on earth because they teach us, as we make or repair them, that the world beyond us – the world before and after us – has its own reality principles.

    Think about the scope of this idea. Work has been a way of demonstrating differences between males and females, for example by merging the meanings of fatherhood and ‘breadwinner’, and then, more recently, prying them apart. Since the 17th century, masculinity and femininity have been defined – not necessarily achieved – by their places in a moral economy, as working men who got paid wages for their production of value on the job, or as working women who got paid nothing for their production and maintenance of families. Of course, these definitions are now changing, as the meaning of ‘family’ changes, along with profound and parallel changes in the labour market – the entry of women is just one of those – and in attitudes toward sexuality.

    When work disappears, the genders produced by the labour market are blurred. When socially necessary labour declines, what we once called women’s work – education, healthcare, service – becomes our basic industry, not a ‘tertiary’ dimension of the measurable economy. The labour of love, caring for one another and learning how to be our brother’s keeper – socially beneficial labour – becomes not merely possible but eminently necessary, and not just within families, where affection is routinely available. No, I mean out there, in the wide, wide world.
    https://aeon.co/essays/what-if-jobs-are-not-the-solution-but-the-problem
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  9. Un hippie a cui negli anni Sessanta avessero prospettato un futuro di questo genere si sarebbe di certo sorpreso non poco. Ma probabilmente lo avrebbe sorpreso ancora di più il fatto che, di tutti gli aspetti della controcultura hippie, ce n’è un tipo specifico e non accessorio che non è entrato nel sentire comune. Quelli accettati oggi, infatti, sono solo ed esattamente quelli privi di un risvolto economico radicale. Abbiamo la ganja terapeutica e una parola elegante come “poliamorismo”, ma, guarda un po’, la proprietà privata è ancora lì, e il massimo di comunitarismo che si conosce nella vita adulta è tutt’al più un tavolino in affitto in un coworking. Queste istanze sono semplicemente sparite, ormai prive di difensori se non in frange minoritarie e inascoltate – gli ormai sparuti cantori della decrescita felice ne sono forse l’esempio più significativo, ed è tutto dire. E nel frattempo il Burning Man è sempre più libero e selvaggio, e nessuno vede una contraddizione nel fatto che sia frequentato da alcuni fra gli imprenditori più ricchi del pianeta. In fondo, hanno diritto anche loro a qualche giorno pazzo, no?
    http://24ilmagazine.ilsole24ore.com/2...iori-e-diventata-la-cultura-dominante
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  10. Remember all those breathless TV anchors extolling the Twitter revolutions and Facebook uprisings of the Arab Spring? How the internet was going to empower activists and citizen-journalists to fast-track creaking autocracies into youth-driven, market-friendly democracies? How the ideological battle of the 21st century was not between left and right but between open and closed societies?

    We now know that social media was just a small part of a complicated situation that brought down or changed governments in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Libya, and Yemen. (And also that few of these countries have yet to experience a happily ever after.) Although the State Department has toned down the clueless optimism and Silicon Valley–will-fix-politics message, it still preaches the virtues of the internet in allowing dissidents to communicate, organize, and, implicitly, overthrow nasty governments. That message has gone out loud and clear to America’s authoritarian rivals, and they don’t like what they hear.

    When the U.S. says, “Breaking the internet into pieces gives you echo chambers instead of an innovative global marketplace of ideas,” China hears, “I don’t care about your fragile state, demographic time bomb, and ancient culture. I want you to be argumentative and disrespectful like me, so my companies can sell you more stuff.”

    When the U.S. says, “We stand for a single internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas,” Russia hears “We want you to look and sound more like us, and if your crumbling petro-state succumbs to revolution as a result, so be it.”

    When President Obama paraphrases the U.S. cybersecurity strategy at a town hall meeting in China as “the more freely information flows, the stronger societies become,” China thinks, “You’re a guest and that’s just rude.”

    When the U.S. says, “We will work with partners in industry, academia, and NGOs to harness the power of connection technologies and apply them to our diplomatic goals,” Russia thinks, “We were so right to kick out those foreign NGOs.”

    And when Hillary Clinton says, “A new information curtain is descending across much of the world. And beyond this partition, viral videos and blog posts are becoming the samizdat of our day,” you can imagine President Putin pausing as he manfully wrestles the Russian bear to ask, “She said what?”
    http://www.slate.com/articles/technol...t_values.html?wpsrc=sh_all_mob_tw_bot
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