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Habermas on the Internet

Paul, · Categories: General, Information Commons, Virtual Communities

Sign and Sight — Arts, Essays and Ideas from Germany — features portions of Jurgen HabermasBruno Kreisky Prize for the advancement of human rights speech. While the speech is mostly about a United States of Europe. Habermas does take a brief (translated) look at the Internet:

“Use of the Internet has both broadened and fragmented the contexts of communication. This is why the Internet can have a subversive effect on intellectual life in authoritarian regimes. But at the same time, the less formal, horizontal cross-linking of communication channels weakens the achievements of traditional media. This focuses the attention of an anonymous and dispersed public on select topics and information, allowing citizens to concentrate on the same critically filtered issues and journalistic pieces at any given time. The price we pay for the growth in egalitarianism offered by the Internet is the decentralised access to unedited stories. In this medium, contributions by intellectuals lose their power to create a focus.”

(quote, bolding and translation from signandsight.com)

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