Ming the Mechanic:
The Moral Internet

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 The Moral Internet2003-01-17 23:58
9 comments
by Flemming Funch

David Weinberger says some good things about how the structure of the Internet mirrors some qualities we need in a shared world.
"The Internet was created to move bits around without knowing anything about what the bits encode: porn bits look exactly like biblical bits. So, at its heart the Internet values a non-partisan, unfiltered exchange of information. It is decentralized. It is permission-free. But these are exactly the characteristics required for the pursuit of truth in a diverse world.

The Web, built on top of the Internet, brought us pages, browsers and links. Of these, links are the most important because without them you only have a set of disconnected pages, not a Web. The Web thus begins with connections, not individuals. This mirrors the human context in which morality is possible: we find ourselves first in a world we share. Connections come first. If you start with the individuals instead of our connection, you can never build up to a moral world."
Important point there. If we start with the assumption that we're in a world we share, or that we're all connected, or all one, or some variation of that - the answer has to be that the right things to do are those that make things work for the most possible people, including ourselves, and for the planet. But if we start with the assumption that we're all separate, and that others maybe don't even exist, you can without impunity hurt them or exploit them. The words get a bit in the way, but it is a very clear distinction if we get beyond them.


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9 comments

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lord london fileds lido is only half right in terms of Camden: "by election gains in Camden have shown that people are clearly still happy with their new council." Yes, the Lib Dems won both by elections since 2006. However, in both wards the was a very small Tory vote which was squeezed - no surpirse given that there is a Tory/Lib Dem coalition running the Town Hall.I'd think that most people have come to the conclusion that the honeymoon period has warn off now that they've revealed plans to (a) knock down a school for deaf children (b) close an innovtaive Day Centre for people with personality disorders (c) ignore the need for a secondary school in the south of the borough, and build one in the north (d) cut funds to voluntary groups, forcing closures (e) end door-to-door recycling on council estates (but extend it in Hampstead) (f) fail to make parking fairer, as they promised - the council still earns buckets of cash from unsuspecting mortorists.I'd agree with Merseymike that the Lib Dems are a real shower. In Camden they are essentially propped up by the Tories.  


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Other stories in
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2008-07-06 23:20: Laws of social networks
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2007-07-13 23:42: Plan vs Reality



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