Saturday, July 22, 2006

The hazards of the new online collectivism

Jaron Lanier recently posted a provocative essay on, critiquing digital "hive" communities and aggregators like Wikipedia and Google News (two sites I use every day).

From the essay, tilted "Digital Maoism": "The beauty of the Internet is that it connects people. The value is in the other people. If we start to believe that the Internet itself is an entity that has something to say, we're devaluing those people and making ourselves into idiots."

And later: "The hive mind should be thought of as a tool. Empowering the collective does not empower individuals — just the reverse is true."

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