Saturday, August 08, 2009

Fear of internet?

I don't know what to think.

It looks like the Obama administration is afraid of internet: it asks people to signal any information circulating about the health care plan, via e-mail or casual conversation (?), that might sound fishy.

Strange, it seemed that in the election campaign they knew how to use it effectively. Or perhaps it is precisely because of this.

It is an old story: the newest communication technology has always been looked at with suspicion.

We read in Plato's Fedrus that Socrates warned against writing. In the book, he said, the word is left alone and cannot defend itself. And though, handwritten books spread and gave a literary tint to culture. Actually to high culture, because popular culture staid oral, until printed books spread literacy, making accessible to everybody. Then it was created books censorship. And so on, up to our times, with telephone, radio and TV. Phones can be controlled; radio and TV require a rather complex technology, their operators and what they say or suggest are publicly known.

And now cellular phones and internet.

Utterly anarchic.

It is like when people used simply to talk to each other. But no longer in a small circle, where everybody knows everybody else, so that each one feels scrutinized and controlled in what he says.

The administration seems to feel out of control on the information circulating on its plans, and resorts to asking people to help them know.

Do they realize what are they doing, by so asking?

In the face of the newest technology, feeling impotent, they resort to "informing": an old totalitarian strategy, to keep people from talking for fear of being spied upon.

No comments: