Tuesday, 10 February 2015

maybe that’s the cave plato warned us about

The excellent Quartz Magazine presents a very delving article that demonstrates, I think, with great lucidity one of the consequences of forsaking so called net neutrality—an idea generally portrayed as something nebulous and complex, not that the motives underlying the argument are straightforward, by the mainstream medium to inspire defeatists attitudes. Much of that same estate serves gentle reminders, usually when those dominant institutions are thinking of doing something underhanded, that in fact the internet is not a search-engine, which checks both detractors and opponents of the change. The West, I think, is taking this rhetorical device for granted, however, especially vis-a-vis the magnanimity of one social network, which would provide free access for all. Businesses are not meant to be surrogates for free and democratic principles and people ought to be wise to ulterior motives, but the charity and outreach of the media empire, as outlined in the feature, does not in fact give the Third World an outlook on equal-footing with the First World counterparts. Instead of encountering that brutal, rough but independent world-wide web, the young generation in Africa, Asia and India are received into the refined and gated environment of that social network.
A not insignificant portion of ascribers don’t even realise that this service is even just a selective mask for that cyber substrate that’s walled off and out of their price-range. Maybe some believe that the messy, unknown internet they’ve heard of is a playground of privilege and can make do with what they’re filtered—after all, all their friends and family are famous here, whereas the wider internet takes no notice of them. Maybe it is better than having no foothold and people may eventually discover all things behind the scenes or as expounded rather eloquently, maybe we all just become serfs and sharecroppers for a single magnate and mogul. One only knows what one is exposed to, especially during the impressionable onset, and ideas, policy, and credibility—not only fashion and commerce—fall prostrate to what’s liked.