Friday, April 25, 2008

Declaration of Independence

After reading the cyberspace's declaration of independence, I couldn't help but think how idealized it sounded (much like our own declaration of independence). And then I noticed that it was, afterall, written in 1996, when the internet and idea of cyberspace was just developing. The author stated that this space is completely separate from the real world, as it is not made of the same material, and therefore is not subject to the real world governance. He said that, if the need arised, a governance would form in cyberspace in order to solve its problems. I thought back to the rape in cyberspace and the other cyberspace crimes one hears about everyday and wonder if cyberspace has the capability to govern itself. The author also said cyberspace provides the space for people to go and not be judged by their race, economic status, gender, etc. Yet we all noticed the "ideal" body types and "beautiful" features most people choose when creating an avatar in Second Life, and one needs money in the first place to even have access to cyberspace. Do you guys think cyberspace can/should govern itself? Do you think that cyberspace is truly a separate entity from the Real World?


Dave said...

I think cyberspace is not necessarily a separate entity of the "real world," however it may seem devoid of actual reality due to it being more of an extension of our intellectual creativity. Boiled down, I guess I mean, cyberspace is just as real as books, magazines, and other forms of expressing ideas, emotions, facts, fiction, and other relevant and irrelevant information.

I think the idea you raise about cyberspace being governed is a necessary topic to discuss, especially in our world today-when our civil liberties continue to remain threatened. Of course there exists the darker element of cyberspace, it parallels the "darker nature" of humanity. But I think it's important to consider what is lost by allowing restriction to take place online, if we allow this, what are we losing. It's similar to our phone's being tapped by the current administration, not that any of us have to curb our tongue, but how much does it change your behavior knowing someone in a position of authority may be listening to what you say?

deb said...

A Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace:
This was a really interesting piece, yet I also think it was really idealized. I would love to think of Cyberspace as a completely free place for all, but there are many restrictions, official and unofficial, that exist. For example, in China many of the sites that exist in the United States illustrating the history of Tiananmen Square , are blocked in China. I am sure that many sites around the world are blocked, and I think it would be very heard to tell if all websites were uncensored in the US, because we automatically believe we have access to everything. Also, I think in certain cases pornography and other websites should be blocked for children under a certain age because I don’t think it would be right that they get exposed to graphic sex by mistake. Anyway I will keep it short. What does everyone else think about censorship on the Internet?

Whitney said...

I don't think we can consider cyberspace a separate entity because its users are living in "the real world" too. I agree with Dave. Cyberspace is a lot like other publications, biographies, novels, tv shows. Having said that, I don't think that real world rules should necessarily apply. The virtual rape article we read shows the legitimate trauma of the victims, and yet I don't think that that could truly be comparable to a physical rape. As such, it shouldn't be prosecuted the same way. Since all of these issues are relatively new, I think the Supreme Court and the govt are just as confused about their role in cyberspace. As "pirates" and "creators" discussed, lately the govt has been exerting greater control over online activites. Its hard for me to say where exactly the line should be drawn