Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

Yochai Benkler on Why Now’s Better

Yochai Benkler, when asked the usual asinine internet-as-echo-chamber question by Brooke Gladstone on this week’s On the Media, said this:

What are we lamenting? We’re lamenting the decline of a shared culture that’s relatively dominated by a small number of people who can decide what everyone needs to know? That’s not obviously a state that we have to yearn for. On the other hand, the fact that we have facilities for people who do want to be engaged to become much better informed if it is easy … from the perspective of a democratic society, this new state seems to me to be, not utopia, but more attractive.

My translation: You know who’s sad about the gatekeepers losing control of the media? Nobody except the gatekeepers. If you care about democracy, thank your lucky stars for the internet, the most open forum for the free exchange of ideas ever invented.

I say: Let’s dance on the graves of the gatekeepers. Let’s build things never before possible. Let’s show what a giant network of brains can really do.

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Hi, I’m Derek. I used to make websites. Now I grow flowers and know things. I’m mostly harmless. More.