Summary of The Net Delusion

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Rating

9

Qualities

  • Innovative

Recommendation

Social studies scholar Evgeny Morozov may occasionally be cranky and stylistically conflicted, but his original arguments provide refreshing insights. He debunks nearly religious beliefs about the intrinsically positive power of the Internet and total information access. Morozov demonstrates how propagating this optimistic view of the web drowns out more subtle positions and keeps governmental and societal attention focused on less meaningful activities. getAbstract recommends this worthy polemic to those engaged in cyberculture, those trying to decipher cultural change, and those dedicated to understanding and promoting freer societies.

About the Author

Evgeny Morozov is a Schwartz Fellow at the New American Foundation and contributing editor for the Boston Review and Foreign Policy.

 

Summary

The Dangerous Allure of the “Google Doctrine”

In 2009, Iranians filled the streets of Tehran, protesting that year’s election. Other Iranians counter-protested because they “found the elections to be fair.” Western reporters did not address these social complexities but instead focused on how the Internet was playing a major role in bringing democracy to Iran. Atlantic magazine blogger Andrew Sullivan wrote a post on the agitation, “The Revolution Will Be Twittered,” that helped establish the ideological lens through which the West viewed events in Iran. Journalists and pundits were already in love with Twitter and related communication technologies, so much so that Mark Pfeifle, a former national security adviser to George W. Bush, called for Twitter to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Such celebrations of Twitter are part of a broader ideology – the “Google Doctrine.” This mind-set dates from the fall of Soviet communism in 1989. Political theorists attributed the demise of Russian communism in large part to how computer technology made information widely and readily available. The Google doctrine argues that information technology is inherently liberating...


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