Wednesday, 29 August 2018

a marketplace of ideas

Via Boing Boing, we learn that after satisfying the compulsion to google himself—egosurfing if you will—that insufferable occupant of the White House decided that he did not like the results that were presented him and has directed his goons to look into whether and how internet search engine results should be regulated by the government.
Although this is just another in a long line of pathetic tantrums that even has the Republicans clutching their pearls, such bluster erodes societal norms and our collective expectation of integrity and reliability in our institutions, whose reputations are already bruised by reflecting our implicit biases, being manipulative, judgmental, prejudiced and for jumping to conclusions. Though parts of the internet are both echo-chamber and excoriating Star Chamber, the raw and unmediated (and admittedly finding the latter can take some extra effort) facts are out in the ether as well.  This latest grandstanding (using platforms to attack platforms) combined with the unrelenting howls of fake news may well be dread to hear for most but have had real and dire consequence and sets the United States on a course to dictatorship, which is depressingly seeming a more likely outcome.