Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism

The problem is in the way the Wikipedia has come to be regarded and used; how it’s been elevated to such importance so quickly. And that is part of the larger pattern of the appeal of a new online collectivism that is nothing less than a resurgence of the idea that the collective is all-wise, that it is desirable to have influence concentrated in a bottleneck that can channel the collective with the most verity and force. This is different from representative democracy, or meritocracy. This idea has had dreadful consequences when thrust upon us from the extreme Right or the extreme Left in various historical periods. The fact that it’s now being re-introduced today by prominent technologists and futurists, people who in many cases I know and like, doesn’t make it any less dangerous.

Read Jaron Lanier’s essay on the Edge and commentary from ZDNet’s Dana Blankenhorn



Filed under Technology, our Mirror, The Politics of New Media, The Reading Room, Virtual Communities, web 2.0

2 responses to “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism

  1. Pingback: Groupthink, Loafing and the romance of teams. Questioning the emphasis on collaboration. « What’s New Media?

  2. Pingback: The Benefits of the New Online Collectivism « What’s New Media?

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