RE: [-empyre-] bloggers sink the systemic star

> --- Henry Warwick <> wrote:
> > So, any ideas that blogging or even being on the
> > internet at all are feeding some kind of devolution
> > of power in contemporary political economy is, IMHO,
> > wishful thinking.

i saw an interesting documentary on cbc tv (canadian broadcasting corp)
about blogging in iran. fascinating. blogging is important there in national
politics. there aren't too many public forums in iran which are not subject
to heavy constraint. the blogosphere, by virtue of its relatively marginal
public nature and other factors, is currently a place in iran for
progressive public discussion by a wide range of types of iranians, from the
'powerless' to the 'powerful'. this is the place where discussion of law,
public policy, culture, tradition, etc can take place in a more or less
unfettered way. people are more able to say what they think via blog than in
many another public medium. for the time, in any case.

i think that what we can see in this situation that applies not just to iran
but other situations is that when the discussion or information is under
heavy constraint/censorship in other media--not just censorship but the
information or discussion is not available for any number of reasons in
other media--that is when the value of the Internet often asserts itself
very strongly: as a place where the information/discussion often *can* be
published in quite a public way and a dialogical way.

as the information or discussion becomes more available/less censored and
the outlets for it multiply, we begin to yawn and perceive more of the same.

i recall reading a czech writer who had fled to the west, before the velvet
revolution, say something like 'in my country, on the rare occassion when my
books are available, people line up for blocks. here (in the west) you can
say what you like--but nobody is listening.'

well, people *are* listening, but they can be (even *must* be) more
selective over the massive data glut.

concerning art, we might note a parallel about digital art: the more
available the information/discussion/art in other media, the less value on
the Internet.


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