so yes - the internet was setup by DARPA. and the free services they offer are meant to entangle us in another dependency and then they will at some point flip a switch to either make you pay for it and/or crackdown. ok.
but - of all the various things that communication can bring about - the various tangents that stem from human interaction - how is it that "they" can keep it all contained? i submit that it is IMPOSSIBLE! i think they can try to guide it in a certain direction and they do a good job of it tapping into our ego addictions, out celebrity worship, our sex craving, our competitiveness, our glamour, etc. - but they cannot control it 24/7 - monitor it. They can deploy algorithms to look for keywords, buzz words, etc. - but they are relying on artificial intelligence to do this. They are refining the process - but they cannot own every variable and the infinite potential. Again - it is a crap shoot. Also - the tapping into our paranoia about it all is also an effective tool that can be used against our utilizing it for our advantage.
What do you think of the following?
"THE ROLE OF THE INTERNET: FROM THE MARGINS TO THE CENTER
The role of the Internet in the international circulation of information on the indigenous rebellion in Chiapas developed quickly and has continued to evolve. Early on, the Internet provided a means for the rapid dissemination of information and organization through preexisting circuits, such as those which had been created as part of the struggle to block the NAFTA, or those concerned with Latin American and indigenous issues. These networks existed primarily at an international level, mostly in computer-rich North American and Western European countries.
News reports on radio and television were complemented by first-hand reports in cyberspace from a record number of observers who flooded into Chiapas with hitherto unseen alacrity, as well as from more analytical commentators who could voice their opinions and enter into debates more quickly and easily in cyberspace. These few circuits were rapidly complemented by the creation of specialized lists, conferences and web pages devoted specifically to Chiapas and the struggle for democracy in Mexico. The breadth of participation in these discussions and the posting of multiple sources of information has made possible an unprecedented degree of verification in the history of the media. Questionable information can be quickly checked and counterinformation posted with a speed unknown in either print, radio or television. Instead of days or weeks, the norm for posting objections or corrections is minutes or hours.
It is important to note that the EZLN has played no direct role in the proliferation of the use of the Internet. Rather, these efforts were initiated by others to weave a network of support for the Zapatista movement. Although there is a myth that Zapatista spokesman Subcommandante Marcos sits in the jungle uploading EZLN communiques from his laptop, the reality is that the EZLN and its communities have had a mediated relationship to the Internet. The Zapatista communities are indigenous, poor and often cut-oft not only from computer communications but also from the necessary electricity and telephone systems. Under these conditions, EZLN materials were initially prepared as written communiques for the mass media and were handed to reporters or to friends to give to reporters. Such material then had to be typed or scanned into electronic format for distribution on the Internet.
Today, there are dozens of web pages with detailed information on the situation in Chiapas specifically and the state of democracy in Mexico more generally Several widely used news and discussion lists devoted to the daily circulation of information and its assessment are available. These various interventions operate from many countries and in many languages, and they are all the result of work by those sympathetic to the rights of indigenous peoples and to the plight of the Zapatistas.
Some of these efforts were launched in Mexico. For example, the "chiapas-l" list is run through computers at the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City The Zapatista National Liberation Front (FZLN)16 operates both a list ("fzln1") and a series of voluminous multi-lingual web pages carrying news and documents regarding the negotiation process in Chiapas and more general discussions in Mexico. Other sites have originated outside of Mexico. The first unofficial FZLN webpage, for example, was implemented through the Swarthmore College web server in Pennsylvania.17
More recently, the Zapatistas have begun to craft their missives and adapt their public interventions as they have grown to better understand the effectiveness of the Internet in making their voices heard, communicating with supporters and forging new alliances. Today, through the intermediation of the FZLN or other friendly groups and individuals, Marcos and the EZLN regularly send messages to others around the world, including, for example, messages to a European-wide demonstration in Amsterdam against Maastricht and unemployment, to an Italian gathering in Venice against regional separatism or to a conference of media activists in New York. In these communications they make their position on various issues known and seek to create or strengthen ties with far away groups.
The Internet is also playing an increasingly central role in particular organizing efforts initiated by the EZLN. While its role was limited in the formation of the meetings of the National Democratic Convention in 1994 and 1995, which drew together a wide variety of groups from all over Mexico, the Internet was employed to a greater extent in the subsequent national and international plebiscites. The Zapatistas used the Internet in those cases to seek feedback from their supporters regarding the direction their political struggle should take.l8 During the plebiscites, most participants in Mexico voted at booths set up throughout the country by Alianza Civica, a well-respected pro-democracy Mexican NGO. In addition, some 81,000 foreigners from 47 countries took part, mostly via the Internet.l9 According to Alianza Civica, total participation in Mexico was over one million persons.20
The most dramatic organizational efforts in which the Internet has played a central role are the joint cooperative efforts between the Zapatistas and other social movements linked to them. These efforts have included the organization of large-scale meetings in response to the January 1996 Zapatista call for continental and intercontinental "encounters" to discuss, among other things, contemporary global neoliberal (capitalist) policies, methods of elaborating a global network of opposition to those policies and formulas for interconnecting various projects for elaborating alternatives. The result of these organizing efforts included: a series of continental meetings in the spring of 1996;21 an intercontinental meeting in Chiapas in the summer of 1996; and a second intercontinental meeting in Spain in the summer of 1997. Through extensive E-mails and a small number of intermittent, face-to-face meetings, possible approaches to the organization of discussion were debated, agendas were hammered out and logistical arrangements were made. The results were stunning. Thousands came to the continental meetings-3,000 to the intercontinental meeting in Chiapas and 4,000 to the intercontinental reunion in Spain. Grassroots activists from over 40 countries and five continents attended both intercontinental meetings.
Without the Internet, this turnout would never have been possible. It is only recently that such encounters have become regular features on the margins of meetings organized by supranational institutions like the United Nations. It has usually been governments, not poor villages of indigenous peoples, that have had the means to organize such gatherings. The Zapatistas, however, successfully organized these encounters on a scale that far exceeded anyone's expectations, and this fact alone warrants closeattention by those interested in the evolution of international politics."
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