The Web is in a state of nature

So I wrote, some time back, and I am still pondering the consequences of that statement.  Should we impose law on the Internet?  Without taking into account the difficulty of the enterprise, is it desirable, even from a moral perspective?  Who wouldn’t obliterate a million pornographic sites, if one could?  But under what principle, and with what authority?

I have no answers.  I have a feeling:  the Internet is the most American of media, precisely because it is a kind of Wild West of the human soul – and I’d hate for that to be tamed.  Here personal character – morality in action – really counts, since there are no cops to cow one into good behavior.

The Sophistpundit has a long reflection on this, and other related subjects, appropriately titled “Neither God nor Beast.”  He demonstrates, in specific terms, touching on actual people he has met through his blog, how the Internet can work as an open society of competing ideas, propounded by tolerant minds.  I found it moving; I predict you will too.

 

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