Re: Is the Internet dangerous to a political movement?

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Tue Sep 04 2001 - 09:03:49 MDT

On Tue, 4 Sep 2001, Waldemar Ingdahl wrote:

> I have noticed that in some cases the Internet has become a dangerous
> crutch for political movements. Of course there are good ways and bad
> ways to use the Internet, and some have succeeded for doing it well,
> particularly when coordinating actions.

>From current vs past datapoints I've noticed that the cypherpunk community
has been stalling. That despite of the appaling state of the art in secure
anonymous and authenticated realtime communication. This is not good news
for said coordinating actions. Gratuitious plug:
Jabber will also have crypto capability one day, purportedly.

> But it has also "tricked" some movements into thinking that they have
> good discourses, into thinking that just if you put up a pdf- file or
> a website on the Internet you will reach a large number of persons.

Physical meetings and dead tree is considerably slower and more expensive.
You have to have to achieve a high physical density up to the point of
nonnegligible random encounter rate ere you can go that route. (Which,
imo, is an expiring model, anyway).

> But the raelians have a site too. In itself it isn't enough, but

So has the U.S. government.

> there is a false comfort in it that makes the movement neglect the
> important work in society around it, particularly since even today the
> most important debates are not on the Internet.

Of course not. It's too early for that. We're stuck mostly in early
adopter stage still.

> We haven't seen that the Internet has acquired the position as
> political centre for society, as was said (yet?)

Most people over 40 are hopeless in regards to Net skills. We'll have to
wait until the current power elite will be displaced from the office in a
natural process. Which will take decades.

Once the current teenagers and twens wind up in charge situation will
become markedly different.

Yours is an early adopter's view. I share your frustrations, but we must
learn patience.

-- Eugen* Leitl <a href="">leitl</a>
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