Political control depends in large part on a quasi-monopolistic mass media amenable to the political goals of the State and Plutocracy. To the degree that the Web undermines that mass mediaâ€™s monopoly on â€œnewsâ€ then it also undermines the political control of the State and its Plutocratic overlords.
The Internet/Web is thus the acme of creative destruction, for it is undermining all monopolies except that of capital and petroleum.
I wish he were right, but unfortunately this is only half of the story. With the advent of the social web the mass media’s monopoly has started to embrace the Web. Google App Engine lets Internet users run their web applications on Google’s infrastructure. Facebook lets Internet users manage their relations with other users.
The German researcher Jan Schmidt explains how a user’s identity emerges from the interplay of his actions and relationships to other Web users. Following the principle of least action, users choose the communication systems which require the least learning investments and acquisition cost. As a result their actions and relationships rely on the capabilities of a communication infrastructure provided for free by an industry financed by advertisments.
Finally David Burke’s SpyTV prediction comes true:
When you turn it on, they know you turned it on. When you change channels or take a trip to the virtual shopping mall, they’ll be following you. Find out what broadcasters are saying about interactive television. Hear their Orwellian plans to keep a file on every viewer, in every single home.
Who buys the file? The highest bidder. What will they do with it? Figure out how to modify your behavior. What say do you have? None. Just as you have no idea what software is downloaded to your set top box. The applications are already written, many of them aimed at children. This might be the last generation to have privacy as we know it.