Daniel Berninger has produced a paper calling for an “Internet Renaissance” by 2010. The idea is that while the printing press brought about the Renaissance (maybe it’d be closer to say it enabled the Enlightenment), the Internet, which is as transformative, has not brought about the equivalent flowering. Dan attributes this to a clash of imperatives: To communicate or to coerce. The old power structure is all about coercion. We need to put our backs behind the communication imperative, says Dan, expanding the Internet’s reach (getting to the next billion means reaching those who make $2 a day, he says) and preserving its openness.
The paper will be a red flag for the Internet pessimists (who view themselves as realists, but I refuse to concede reality to them), but I like its overall framing: We should be working towards something as important as the Renaissance, because the Net gives us that opportunity. And I agree with Dan that it doesn’t mean we can just sit back and enjoy the great art, economic boom and global peace that’s sure to come. There’s lots of work to do. We’re just at the beginning. In fact, as I’ve said before, we’re at a crossroads where we can choose the Enlightenment or a new Dark Ages… [Tags: daniel_berninger ]
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