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(2010-05-26) Walk the less common path

Think back, say, 20 years. Here in Sweden we had just shed the TV monopoly while radio was still regulated. Mobile phones were still a luxury and the closest thing we had the “world wide web” was Usenet and FidoNet. We had some, but not too many, choices. It’s been quite a ride since. Now we have communities, blogs, short message services, forums and video sharing sites. And they’re almost always free of charge and readily available to all.

I’ve heard a lot of people predicting that the Internet will mean the end of everything from poverty to war. Just like they predicted that radio would do the same thing in the 1920s. And if I remember correctly, this “cure all” hope has been applied to almost all new technologies and at least one US president before.

So far the human nature, for better and worse, has prevailed. The Internet has given us so much, that it’s hard to imagine what it would be like if it just vanished one day.

What’s supplied: a smorgasbord of opinions ranging from the fringe to the main stream. The Internet also has a wide variety of what’s it’s most known for, but let’s not go there. You know what I mean.

What’s in demand: what you already believe told by someone like you. This may not be what we expected, but it is what we got. If you have an open mind, you can find outlets of all kinds of political and worldly views. But how many of us bother with it? We often walk down the same path everyday by visiting the same sites with the same message. If we ever look around, we find sites we really hope someone (it’s always someone else!) really should shut down. However as you probably already know, democracy is meant to protect the opinions we hate, not the ones we love. That is if there’s such a thing as democracy on the Internet or anywhere else for that matter.

I’m not trying to say that everything should be allowed to exist on the Internet. It’s kind of pointless saying that I really dislike things like malware sites, child porno and other criminal activity. Such things should never be allowed, but it’s not what I’m talking about. I also don’t really care for Nazis, “patriots” and other backwards people on the Internet either. But it’s a good thing they can exist, if only to work as an example of really bad ideas. But I think it’s a good idea to broaden my own views every now and then walk the path less travelled and by reading something written by someone whose opinions I disagree with. I (somewhat) frequently listen to American hosts like Rush Limbaugh (Syndicated, rightwing), Bill O’Reilly (FOX news, rightwing) and Keith Olbermann (MSNBC, Leftwing). They’re all share their narrow world views with us. But they’re amusing and sometimes you can learn something.

Posted: 2010-05-26 by Erik Zalitis
Changed: 2010-06-19 by Erik Zalitis

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