On "Digital Maoism"

What is the nature of online knowing? Is it as some suggest, different, better perhaps, than mine or yours than what your or I know individually?

Jaron Lanier, who as an artist and prominent technologist brings a certain heft to bear, calls out this kind of exceptionalism in his Third Culture essay, "Digital Maosim." Reaction from such thinkers as Yochai Benkler, Clay Shirky, Cory Doctorow and Kevin Kelly is also made available. I'm still working my way through the replies, but this digital salon has a lot to say.

By way of introducing the responses, Shirky points out that reaction surrounding this issue has much less to do with technology than human identity.

Lanier's piece hits a nerve because human life always exists in tension between our individual and group identities, inseparable and incommensurable.

I find "inseparable and incommensurable" in some ways an apt summary of the human digital condition.


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