Sunday, April 27, 2008

Declaration on Independence? Really?

This article was very interesting and introduced some issues that I hadn’t realized were important to some people. I’m not sure if I agree with this declaration of independence of the virtual world from the real world. But at the same time I’m not really sure how I feel about some of the different points which were raised. I’m somewhat confused because the virtual world is made of users in the real world, so how can independence be declared from those who must be present in order for the virtual world to even exist? I find it very hard to completely separate the real world from cyberspace since to me their coexistence has developed into an intertwining relationship that will be hard to detangle. Since I’m not incredibly involved in the virtual world I cannot relate to John Barlow’s feelings towards this issue, but maybe through my continued use of online resources through this class, I will become better acquainted with his concerns.


scsorto said...

I wasn't quite sure what to think either. It seemed sort of like a joke, almost. Maybe it's like you said, because I am not part of any online community, it seems almost comedic to have someone telling the government that they can't do anything over them.

It was interesting that this guy kept saying that they wanted a free, all-inclusive society without any constraints...well...technically, isn't that how all societies begin? didn't america begin with people who didn't want to be ruled by Britain? is government a natural part of society? is being "goverened" part of human nature?

Nick Sanchez said...

I like the original poster's honesty in admitting that maybe through this class they will become more acquainted with the Declaration's concerns.

In response to scsorto, I really don't think it is a joke at all. In fact, I believe it was highly insightful, prophetic even, that this Declaration was written as far back as 1996. It is prophetic because in the past couple of years Net Neutrality has been threatened. What does this mean? It means that big communications corporations like AT@T are trying to become gatekeepers for the internet. This means that they are trying to set up an internet where higher-paying sites get more bandwidth, which means blogs like this one would possibly not be able to exist anymore because it would cost a lot of money to buy bandwidth. Check out for more info.

The Declaration saw this coming, and it has stated that BIG GOVERNMENT and BIG MEDIA (often one and the same) should keep their hands off the freedoms of the internet. This Declaration completely rocks.

MHofsommer said...

This subject is very interesting, at first I felt that this "declaration" was ridiculous and making a crusade out of an issue that isn't of such importance. However, after looking at what nick wrote and checking out the site he posted, I see how quickly the internet (in the was television is now) could be dominated by those large corporations; eliminating what is the greatest feature of the internet--the free exchange of information.

scsorto said...

in response to nick, thanks for the information. that site was interesting. i didnt realize much of what was on that site.

my original point was that it "seemed" comedic because it seems trivial to argue over who has control over who in "free space"...i thought the declaration was written well and was very forceful, and now after reading the site you sent me, it makes sense why the author wrote it. in the original context we had (which was nothing, really), it didnt seem to be "true" or "real" but now, i see the "reality" behind the declaration. again, thanks . :)

deb said...

In response to Nick, I totally agree that the Declaration rocks, but I think in our society it will be impossible in the future to have internet that is free. There is too much profit and creativity that can be gained from the internet and big companies and government will inevitably move in. Yet I think that both good and bad can come from this. I think there can be benefits from having a free internet like youtube etc... but bigger companies like apple which create itunes also allow a lot of people to buy music legally and easily. I think the most important thing is a balance between freedom and restrictions, so that we can still have creativity and competition without self destruction. What do you think?

*kt* said...

To have a "Declaration" for the internet separates it from the real world... i guess that is his aim?
I don't think that it is wise to do so, simply because people will think that they can get away with anything if there are no boundaries on what can happen on the internet. I mean, it is already chalked full of offensive content, and potential dangers.
I don't think it's the governments job to censure it to the point where everything we see/experience is being filtered.But i do think that there should be a third party that monitors the content going up. Especially since kids use the web, and these virtual realities like the Sims or Secondlife (even myspace!). There are perverts out there and alot of sites overlook them.
Its going to take more than just "internet justice" to weed out the people who are abusing the freedoms allowed by it.