Four People Who Don’t Get “The Internet”

A dinosaur quartet

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It’s interesting how “the Internet” has come to be a singularly collective, authoritative entity. On a radio morning show today, a woman called in and said, regarding concrete foundations, “the Internet said you needed footers.”

“The Internet” said it. It seems many people regard “the Internet” the way they regard “the paper,” as the go-to, authoritative information source, without a thought of the individual sources making it up. It’s as though “the Internet” speaks with one voice and all descriptors used apply to all parts of it rather than a discordant symphony of infinite voices singing the impossibility of one size fitting all.

Some prominent people—well, at least they are given prominent pulpits—have been really trashing “the Internet” lately, but don’t seem to really get “the Internet.” The first one on the list disappointed me the most.

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader

I respect what Ralph Nader has to say usually; I put him up there with Ron Paul as one of two guys who came the closest in the last century to being very nearly mostly right about things. Nader recently addressed a group of Washington, DC college students and implied they were too obsessed with “the Internet,” that “the Internet didn’t do a good job of motivating action,” and instead does a good job of massively trivializing communication to no truly productive end.

Guilt is a tried and true motivator, and Nader laid it thick onto the college students, asking them how the Internet generation would explain to its grandchildren what they did to prevent the ills of the future world:

"You know. The world is melting down. They’re nine years old. They’re sitting on your lap. They’ve just become aware of things that are wrong in the world: starvation, poverty, whatever. And they ask you, what were you doing when all this was happening: Grandma? Grandpa? That you were too busy updating your profile on Facebook?"

I almost thought he was right since I have curmudgeonly tendencies. Internet campaigns are most effective at saving cancelled TV shows. But “the Internet” sort of did get Barack Obama elected, too. It seems like Nader is bemoaning what all elders have bemoaned forever: the yet unrealized potential of the youth. He could just be coming down with a case of oldmanitis, growing impatient with the new batch of lazy will-be activists.

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin

Besides what would be, if allegations were accurate, a blatant assault on freedom of speech and fair use, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and her Attorney General’s legal threats to a Texas DJ show they don’t really understand “the Internet” either. Shoe Latif, operator of crackho.com received a cease and desist letter from the State of Alaska alleging violation of Alaskan law by using the state’s official seal on the site.

During the election, Latif says she actually just used a simple redirect to drive crackho.com traffic to Palin’s website, and never hosted any of Palin’s content, official seal included, on her servers. What came up was more like framing, kind of like what Google does with Google Images. In essence, visitors were rickrolled, which so far isn’t illegal.

Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton

Michael Lynton
Michael Lynton

Before becoming CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Michael Lynton served as CEO of AOL Europe and president of AOL International. So it’s naturally confusing to hear him say something like this: “I am a guy who hasn’t seen any good come out of the Internet.”

Of course, Lynton is Sony’s boy now, and he gets paid a lot of money to deride the very medium upon which he built his success. His perspective now is that “the Internet” is bad for the entertainment industry—worse, apparently, than twice-baked movies, bad acting, bad scripts, formulaic, lowest-common-denominator drivel the industry floods TV, radio, magazines, theaters, video stores, news programming, and, yes, iTunes, with.

But perhaps richer than the line about nothing good coming out of the Internet is the next one about copyright law. Lynton said Washington needed new rules to protect copyrighted material rather than expanding broadband further: “Somebody has got to realize that we need some rules.”

Somebody like the cast and crew of the former US Senate, who unanimously passed sweeping, tougher copyright legislation, upping fines and penalties last year? Somebody like the Congresspersons and White House officials making international copyright treaties matters of national security so they can hide from the public and “the Internet?” Somebody like the five RIAA lawyers currently implanted in the Department of Justice?

Somebody like those guys, Lynton? How about somebody who thinks a teenager downloading songs (or his parents) shouldn’t face $150,000 fines every time he does it?

Bryan Appleyard

Bryan Appleyard
Bryan Appleyard

Writing for Britain’s TimesOnline, erm, an Internet site, Bryan Appleyard reduces Web 2.0 to something created and popularized by California cultists, whose creation has led to Appleyard coining a phrase sounding as close to buggery as he could muster:

“Bloggery is forming itself into big, institutionalised aggregators such as The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast, and remains utterly parasitic on the mainstream media it affects to despise. Even Twitter is already coming to be dominated by conventional, non-web-based celebrity — Oprah Winfrey in the US and Stephen Fry over here.”

Yes, “bloggery” does sound like a filthy, depraved habit. It’s one of those words requiring the speaker to turn up his nose a bit at the stench of it. The rest of the piece reads like a diatribe delivered over crumpets in a newspaper mogul’s—what would they have?—sitting room.

The Internet

The problem is not “the Internet.” It’s not the fragmentation and trivialization of communication. It’s not the rampant freedom of speech and fair use liberties. It’s not the free promotion fans offer entertainment companies. It’s not a few innovators having world-changing influence.

The problem, for the establishment, isn’t any of that. It’s that the world is changing, at all. Entrenched power and money structures need predictability and control if they are to continue to succeed. And that makes the Internet a problem for them, not for the rest of us. “The Internet” carries the only current populous hope of the people and it’s driving the powers that be absolutely crazy, save for Nader, who just thinks it’s pointless.

It isn’t lack of control that’s the problem, nor populism, nor cultists, nor fragmentation. It’s the ever-increasing desire of the few to control what has become the masses’ medium of choice. Governments, ISPs, Entertainment, Newspapers, and Others want this new Wild West reformed into something orderly, something controlled, something (immensely) profitable. The desire to lump "the Internet" under one easily understood label is only very nearly as strong.

Four People Who Don’t Get “The Internet”
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  • http://www.friendswhocare.us/blog1/ Susan

    I totally agree with you and thank you for stating the truth that so many are afraid of.

  • http://www.intentionalfoul.com IFChris

    Michael Lynton deserves a curb-stomping for his willful abandonment of the thing that made him such an attractive, viable option for these mega-corporations. I imagine his genius had a hand of mailing everybody on the planet 10 copies of America Online 7.0…

  • http://www.tyrkietfan.dk/Side/Rejser-til-Side.aspx Rejser til Side

    I think the Internet is just some kind of hype :-)

  • http://www.quotedotdot.com Quote dotdotdot

    I’m so grateful that bloggers (such as yourself) outside the mainstream media can actually have an opinion. It’s refreshing.
    I wonder if anyone at Rolling Stone, Fox News, or CNN doesn’t agree with the company’s party affiliation but is forced to keep quiet.

    • M.E.

      That has little to do with the medium and everything to do with consolidation of ownership, the airwaves being finite. Unfortunately, while there are some, good writers on the Internet are still a rarity. Most dot.coms build their sites much the same way as the corporate mentality – marketing and advertising people first with writers either unpaid or lowest on the totem pole.

  • http://www.trackermo.com Tracker Mo

    Sorry, but I can’t find them on twitter or facebook! LOL! I know Nader did something about cars (convertibles, wasn’t it?) way back in the 1960’s. Sara Palin… did she run for governor or something? LOL!

    You’re right. They don’t get it. And, until they do, they may as well consign themselves to history.

  • Guest

    What about the AP?

  • Joseph


    The internet is only 5000 days old, give them some time 😉

  • http://www.hypavera-review.com Hypavera

    Yeah, the internet is just a fad–like that horrible rock music.

  • Cursor_

    Many people are fools when it comes to this technology. I can’t begin to tell you how many times even the supposed season vets of the net will agree with imbecilic ideas like somehow the net has no REAL LIVING people on the other side of the connection.

    They agree with pundits that spout that kids are in danger of strangers from the internet. (Sounds like a 50’s b horror film to me). Like there were never any effin strangers in real life????

    Bullying on the net is another idiot debate. There were not bullies in real life? How did we deal with them? We either attacked them to prove they were cowards or we just took it and moved on. And how the smeg does a cyber bully get a facebook page or cell number? Cos idiot victim gave it out like candy. Learn to be anonymous, fools, unless you want to be stamped down.

    Its not just these four people. Its pretty much the majority of netizens. Anyone that posted revealing pics in their email or other resource, it can be found just as easy as the old polaroids in a shoe box. Nothing changed. The RULES of life and society STILL apply. No different than the advent of mail (letters could get read, even the racy ones), photos, phone calls (ever had someone listen in on a party line, oh that’s right not old enough to remember that huh?), telegraphs were even intercepted. Hell they intercepted coded smoke signals, aldis lamps and semaphore. Cmon people!

    “The Internet” is just another way for us to be what we are. Humans.
    But the SOP of being human applies. It is not a magic doorway that will save or destroy the world. Inanimate objects cannot do anything by and of themselves. It takes HUMANS to either save us or damn us.

    Its not just these people. It is most people on the net.


  • Grantham Taylor, Hughes

    You must know that the Constitution, USC codes (all other country laws) and the gold standard all went away at the 1930 Geneva Convention bankruptcy party. Now, we use the Uniform Commercial code bankruptcy (UCc) Article 1, bankruptcy provisions, since that time. When Ron Paul gave his Philadelphia campaign speech, I was there with about 5,000 others. After the speech, we (with a friend who is the Managing Director of Hemp uSA.org) got a chance to talk with Ron Paul’s advisors about his returning to the constitution and gold standard views and ours of being impossible regarding the UCc. They said that if Ron was elected that he would temper his views regarding the support of the two planks. You see, the constitution and gold standard arguments were nothing more than Ron Paul’s fluff for the public because few know about the international bankruptcy of 1930 and now you do too.

  • tss

    2+2=5 I love Big Wiki

  • Guest

    Good article Jason… It makes one think…

    Being a Net Old timer and remembering when telnet and a text interface was the standard of the day, back when only geeks and techies were on the net it saddens me to see the state of things. The Internet is just like society, it’s devolving into a WWF like circus.

    The trouble with the internet is the same trouble with the world, People. Or more specifically, the fact that people are different. Some people have to act stupid, some have to be mean or malicious and others are just plain idiots.

    Are we a better world because of the internet? I think not, the world is different. Somethings are better and in some ways we have more freedom but in many ways we have cheapened and trivialized the art of communicating and the example being set for the youth of today leaves a lot to be desired.

    Pandora’s box has been open, now we just have to deal live with it.

    • Guest

      Just because barriers of entry have been lowered and the knuckle-draggers are in the club doesn’t mean that good, valuable content and functionality doesn’t exist. If you want to hang out on myspace, that’s your choice. The viewpoint that there is only garbage now on the internet is useful to the argument that the internet needs to be regulated. There’s all kinds of disinformation out there. Corporations want to control everything, but the internet is currently something out of their control to some extent.

  • http://flagler-estates.com/news FECN News

    If the Fed ever decides to limit the internet in some fashion whereas a site owner can NOT express their views as they feel about the issues of the day, we as a nation and world are DONE!

    The National news media for a very long time now has always worked with the Fed to make sure certain information is NOT released to the public.

    When a Nation controls the Education System, the Monetary system, and the Dissemination of their views on the News and what THEY feel you need to know and NOT know about, we have a very dangerous situation.

    Adolph Hitler KNEW these things and so do the world governments of our day. The only real difference between that time and today is better communications among the masses.

    The ONLY thing left which at least helps US ALL to keep them in line is the INTERNET. If the Internet was available back in the day of Nazi Germany and Hitlers Regime, it simply would NOT have went as far as things did.

    • Cursor_

      You do realise The Soviets and still China and North Korea thought they could keep people in check as well.

      The Catholic Church in the Middle Ages thought so as well.

      Look how well they did.

      People will not stay in thralldom forever.

      Eventually the hardliners die and the people take back over.

      Only of course to cock it up and have hardliners take over, to lose it again and so on and so on…

      Welcome to the human society.


  • Tony C.

    I agree with Nader that the Internet is mostly pointless thus far other than a networking, communication and marketing tool. There is very little substance on it. No great literature, no in depth journalism, it has yet to even break a band on its own. I’m not sure whether the problem is the medium itself or that techies generally do not fraternize with creative types in general, the industry overloaded with those with marketing or technical backgrounds.

    • Rock Lobster

      As for the ‘no in-depth journalism’…. hel-LO, you’re ON A JOURNALISM WEBSITE! By which I mean, exclusively a website, not also a newspaper somewhere.

      Web pro news has broken how many stories? I know that I personally use it more that I do, say, the New York Times, since I’m a web developer and I care about Google’s latest tricks or my freedom on the web.

      And some of the stories they’ve broken here far and away do more to enlighten me about our current economy than the Wall Street Journal.

      As for ‘no great literature’, I have two arguments.

      1, original content that fvcking rocks: http://webfictionguide.com/

      2. old dead peeplz that you can read sans library: http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

      …and there are uncountable numbers more websites that have more specialized content, like religious texts or computer books.

      Now, my question is, are you stupid or just dumb?

      • Rock Lobster

        Upon re-reading your comment, especially the bit about the internet not producing any great bands, I have come to the conclusion that I have successfully been trolled.

        I withdraw my earlier question.

  • http://BeWealthMinded.com Ken

    In some respects the Internet is full of garbage and marketing, but there is also some great information out there and the Internet makes it much more accessible. The Internet is like any other media source and the user must decide what is junk and what is valuable.

    • Cursor_

      Reminder: There is garbage and marketing on TV, Radio, Telephone, Print and our daily lives.

      Again why is the internet so vastly different? And why must we talk about it like it is?


  • Zaphod

    Thousands of people have received similar takedown noticed for “framing” other websites and website content on their own domains. Even more so, since he used stealth, or cloaking where the target domain does not appear in the location bar, just “crackho.com.”

    I’m sure if I took this article and “framed” it on my own site I would get a notice from Webpronews post-haste. By your logic, if I hot-linked images on my site from webpronews.com I would be perfectly within my rights because I am only “framing” their images within my site, right? After all, I am not “hosting” that picture, it’s still on webpronews’ server.

    It’s amazing how many “internet professionals” and commentators have jumped all over this story just because of their own political bias. They should know better and even a modicum of thought into the issue would reveal it as a non-issue. Shoe Latif was wrong and you can’t him right just because you hate Palin as much as he does.

  • http://www.freelygive-n.com Robin Calamaio

    The Internet, like any tool, can be used – or abused. If I use the claw of a hammer to open a paint can – I tear up the lid. If I use a paint key – the lid comes off clean and will reseal. By using the Internet tool correctly (submitting information for an audience one hopes to enrich), a person can impact individuals – and even societies – that would otherwise be impossible to reach.

    The Internet has allowed me to publish my ebooks and articles – and reach a world-wide audience. And the day I finish something is the day I can make it available to anyone who wants to examine my work. The Internet has enhanced my life beyond the ability to relate here. Let all the dinosaurs of the world keep freely producing their work – and let me produce mine. I am all for their freedom. Then … let the consumer decide who to invest his/her time and life into.

  • http://alphapal.net jo

    When I think about it, I don’t really know if there has been really any good coming out of it.

    But what I am sure is, since its it started to be available to the masses, the apparent anonymity of the internet has mostly fostered our bad side.

    Starting with the IRC where everyone all of a sudden had blond hair, blue eyes, cute face and of course not yet 20 yrs old, there have not been one honest web site anymore since Adsense.
    Tell me what is the good in facebook, and certainly other “social” sites, that are controlled, supervised and funded by govenment/CIA ?

    Seeing people protesting about privacy and putting all their confidential info on someone’s else hard disk certainly does not means the internet has made them smarter :)
    Nor believing everything is free.

    Oh yeah ? there is free stuff on the net ?
    Oh please show me, I’d like to know where. And by the way, explain me why, and how, people spend hundreds to million dollars for websites that are essentially FREE, as I am quite stupid not to be able to understand that.

    But yes, there some good. For example dmoz, a free directory… used essentially to get higher ratings from search engines, so more
    visitors, more revenues.

    Blogging … 99.999 % same goal, dear adsense.

    Oh there is some good, wordpress ! I can give a comment without the trouble of giving my real email, opening it and clicking on a link. And I can even put a url to get backlinks, isn’t it great !
    Who want to register in a forum anymore ?

    I am not talking bad, just the true. We all did it, and the lies on the internet are not going to stop soon. Get real

    This time, I don’t think I will put a url to my new site, http://alphapal.net/fee-calculator.php , because I am trying to be honest today. So no advertising for once, even if it is a real free site just there to help other people as I am sooo kind. (hope they’ll click the ads… :)
    Ooops, put it already… can’t help it :-) like everyone else.

    Guess I’d better check what http://twitter.com/alpha2player is doing.

  • Richie P

    By which I mean to say that the writing is technically correct – conclusions drawn basically incoherent. There are plenty of people who don’t “get” the internet, but drawing the conclusion that they’re stupid or something just shows your arrogance and lack of critical thinking. Added to that your cheerleading of your opinions of Nader & Paul being “nearly mostly right” about most everything shows your immaturity. These two clowns are fringe elements in American political society who are almost never right about anything and have no following except the 2% deadenders like yourself. You really need to get out in the real world & out of your parents’ basement.

    • Jason Lee Miller

      Just want to say I moved out of my parents house when I graduated high school, thanks. These days I have my own house, a wife, 2 kids, and a doctorate-level degree. You call it a dead end, I call it a cul-de-sac.

      Prozac can help, man.

  • http://www.mikehoffman.com Mike Hoffman

    The trouble ain’t necessarily the content on the Internet–though Sturgeon’s Law says 90% of everything is crap–it’s the effect of computer technology on the brain. Read yer Marshall McCluhan. To paraphrase: “Any Technology tends to atrophy the organ it replaces”. The wheel replaces the leg, the more ya use it the weaker the leg gets. So what does the computer replace? THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM! WHEEE!

    Now, you Webpro guys might have a computer addiction problem, bein’ cyborgs and all, so are ya gonna fess up about it, or ridicule a few sensible Voices of Reason?

    In essence, the Internet is the largest prison ever constructed and its “communication” is nothing more than notes being passed under locked doors.

    Outside, the World goes on; the sun shines, flowers bloom, and black holes suck.

    • Cursor_

      And that dadburned radio… why that’s nothing but a bunch of unseen whosawatsits talking ’bout amos and andy.

      That there telephony, why in my day people liked telegraphs! And all it does is plug up your ear for hours. No good’ll come from that.

      That there mail stuff… ah you can keep it. Might gets me a paper cut if’n I opened it. And who can read anyway?

      Mike, just say get off my LAN!


  • http://www.rankingpeak.com SEO

    Thank you for your sharing. Everyone should follow the way internet goes.

  • http://www.diamondonnet.com Diamonds

    These four are traditionalists and outdated, don’t really care what they say.

  • http://www.chickencoopplan.net ken

    Their statements are quite disappointing. One of them even pretends that he totally don’t get benefit from the internet. They actually want to play safe with their current situation/position.

  • http://www.viewhairstyles.com/ Short Hair Styles

    Stop trying to make this “Internet” thing into a big deal and be good. Just accept what they tell you and submit. Who do you think you are?

  • http://makemoneyeasyhome.blogspot.com/ Ricky

    they would never change !

  • http://www.thepathwebdesign.com Neil


  • Andrew

    Sure, the internet is useful and we like it, but saying that “The internet carries the only current populous hope of the people”? Since when? Sounds like you guys need to turn off your computers for a day and go play in the real world.

  • David F.

    This is an interesting angle, but surely too much is made of the “dinosaur” element. This is a big subject requiring a much wider perspective. These guys have all achieved success in different ways but this doesn’t necessarily make them experts on this particular topic, and after all this is just their opinions!

    For me, in many ways the Internet has been an amazing addition to life, mainly as an incredibly vast source of easily accessible information, such that we can find almoost anything on any subject, just with the click of a few buttons. However unlike previous forms of media distribution it has its flaws. From a social angle it has never been controlled very well from day one as far as mature content and relatively unrestricted access for minors. It is surely no coincidence that violent crime has increased globally, and the overall social behaviour of minors has worsened as well.

    One could argue that this is the fault of the parents, and to some degree this is true, but are we really helping our children with the important things in life by encouraging them to spend hours at their computer, creating and enhancing their profiles on social networking sites??
    Isn’t the Internet also directly or indirectly responsible for the increase in child obeisity, not to mention adding a few pounds to the waistlines of us adults too!

    From a business angle there can be no doubt that the Internet has had a huge effect on the way we all do business, and in particular with regard to marketing.
    My own business benefits greatly from online advertising, creating good returns from a lower cost overhead.

    I can hear all the dissent from techno nerds and school kids in regard to these comments, but I do believe the Internet is a wonderful invention, but it does need some controls…… and it will be even better when it’s finished! :-)

    • Aaron

      Read Atlas Shrugged to see where your ‘control’ will lead you. The Internet is our last bastion of true freedom.

      • Guest

        Even better read “Brave New World” I’m certain this one is on Obama’s nightstand this very minute.

  • http://glennmadden.com Glenn Madden

    Ralph Nader does have a point. The Internet is affecting a change in society as we know it. But I think his view on how is all wrong.

    “You know. The world is melting down. They’re nine years old. They’re sitting on your lap. They’ve just become aware of things that are wrong in the world: starvation, poverty, whatever. And they ask you, what were you doing when all this was happening: Grandma? Grandpa? That you were too busy updating your profile on Facebook?”

    What he does not get is that THANKS to the Internet everyone is in the know about these problems we are facing; we can and do take action. IF it were left to BIG BROTHER we would all be left in the dark until the very end. I love the question on the trailer for the new movie coming out later this year, 2012. “How would the governments of our planet prepare 6 billion people for the end of the world? They Wouldn’t.” http://mayancalendarend.com/

    I feel that there is a possible negative influence from the Internet. It is affecting a change in the English / language/s we speak and fast. I just started a web site to point out the significance of this, http://weebish.com

    It really surprises me that the one place full of Nerds and Tech freaks that we would use a language that sounds like Toddler Talk to communicate … is this the next step in evolution.

    Good examples: Google, Twitter, Face Book, My Space. But it is all just Twitterific.

    Now whether the changes that are happening to our base English language right in front of our eyes is Bad or Good I do not yet know, only time can tell that.


    If you want to contribute to our community edited Dictionary of Internet terms … add some Weebish here http://weebish.com

    • MEL

      Glenn, the Internet is just compounding what is already a deficit is reading, writing and speaking the English language is America today.
      I used to work at a community college, well before everyone and their idiot brother decided to Twitter.
      The general level of English writing proficiency in the Freshman class was about that of a 9-10 year old child.
      Twitter and texting is simply adding insult to injury.

      • MEL

        Hey, I didn’t say is reading or is America. I’m not that ignorant nor am I that bad of a keyboarder. The corrector must have mis-edited my comment.

      • Cursor_

        Honestly? You think that people in the US were major literary brains when most went to public school?

        Now its Simpson
        Before it was what good ballplayers make.

        Even after all these years people still think it is pronounced ANTI GONE.

        The normal US reaction from the 1800’s on is “He shore do talk funny”

        The countries’ national anthem is based on a pub drinking song.

        I need not type anymore about the educational standards.


  • http://www.almostheaven.net Steamdude

    No offense, Jason, but Nader himself is probably the only person that doesn’t think his candidacy in 2000 handed the election to the neocons. Someone needs to stick a pin in his ego. If Nader really believed in what he says, he would have supported the Democratic candidates in the last election, simply because their policies are so much closer to his than the Republicans.

    By running a campaign in 2000, he handed victory to the very powers he opposes. Nothing could be more self-serving or cynical. It proves that he doesn’t really believe in the progressive policies he espouses. He’s just interested in promoting himself.

    • MEL

      I met Nader back in the 70’s when he was just getting started as a consumer advocate. I knew then that the guy had some good ideas but he didn’t practice what he preached to others in his own political rhetoric.
      Nader was a martinet and slave-driver, who overworked and underpaid his staff (even compared to the typical low wage of most non-profits)and who forced his opinions and lifestyle on them. He brown bagged it, so YOU had to brown bag it, too or get lectured or even fired.
      HE had a friend who died in a VW wreck, so YOU couldn’t ride in a VW.
      Although I agree that many young people seem to use the Internet for silly reasons, those same young people, if the Internet wasn’t around, would just be watching the boob-tube or playing D&D and video games all day.
      The Internet is like anything else is human life: you can find good, evil and just plain stupid on it.

  • http://www.bestsurabayaproperty.com jual rumah

    Even most of our society don’t know what internet and what it uses. What an ashame circumstances.

  • Here Comes Trouble

    Ah, yes the Interwebs…Well, the question remains does it really matter whether or not these 4 people ‘Get It’ or not? There are a number of clueless people in which many seek so-called expert opinion and it is the case of the blind leading the blind. Hucksters, corporate and political interests permeate the Internet. I think we should be more concerned when entire companies lead by nimrods don’t get it such as Microsoft (Bill Gates discounted the Internet back in ’95 calling it a “Fad”) the legacy continues with SFB Steve Ballmer – who’s now busy copy everything that is remotely successful. Web 3.0 could not arrive fast enough!

    • Guest

      I am a 46 year old computer programmer and have been on the internet virtually since it became available to the general public, which is quite a few years ago. I love it, because it is a wonderful source of free information, (Not as much as it used to be!) and a fantastic communication arena, for personal and business use.

      But as with everything else in this world, something great has slowly been taken over by greed and commercialism. It has become a place that you need to be very careful on, and that is the shame of it all and a sad indictement on our society and how we always seem to screw things up sooner or later! We always seem to take something wonderful and turn it into a circus. There are scam artists, deviates, etc, on every other page.

      I truly believe that there needs to be some sort of effective policing of the internet so that it will remain an important part of our heritage rather than being allowed to continue with no control.

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  • Vern

    Crumpets are quite an ordinary thing to eat for anyone of any class in England.. just like you chaps over the pond (yup being stereotypical on purpose ;)) eat waffles.

    Sitting room is the same thing.. my family is of the working class from northern England, and its what we call the “lounge” which to us sounds “posh”… so yeah not really got that quite right.

    The rest I agree with, just found that remark about the Times journalist quite amusing after talking about the Palin thing ;).

  • http://www.movie666.com/ Deke Thornton

    That is surprising about Nader. Hard to see how he can deny the power of the internet in motivating people after getting steamrolled by the Obama campaign. I know… big money at work, but also the internet at work. And I respect Nader and support a lot of his ideas.

    Still, there is a lot that activists have to learn about motivating people via the internet to full effect… to actually get out of the house and hit the street with their ideals. If only we could save the rainforest by sending virtual plants to 25 friends!

    I agree with the post about the internet is only 5000 days old and long live bloggery on the high seas!

  • http://kwickset.net Guest

    After having read all of the comments I remembered an argument with some control freak a while back in time.
    His opinion was that the internet is full of porn.

    I did agree with him, but also pointed out that the internet is full of whatever it is one is looking for. In other words, one’s opinion of the internet is based on:
    a. what one is looking for (if anything)
    b. formed by what one finds.

  • Aaron

    How ironic that many of the people responding to this post also do not “Get the Internet”.

    The Internet can be as beautiful or as ugly as YOU want it to be. If you don’t like it, then don’t go there.

    Don’t enslave me with your control just because you need to rid yourself of your own guilt.

    If you really want to control the Internet, then learn how to avoid the garbage YOURSELF. Don’t ask someone else to do it for you, and for heavens sake, don’t ask your government.

  • Jim

    I live in England, and I have never heard of these people – except for Sarah Palin, who is I believe generally regarded as incosequential right-wing politician from the middle of nowhere, who nobody takes seriously.
    Who cares what these people think anyway?

    • MEL

      I’d think even Brits had heard of Nader!!! The guy is a very famous consumer advocate and a many time presidential candidate.

    • Cursor_

      No you must mean Great Britain.

      There has been no England since the 1707.

      If a man pick nits, make sure he picks his own first.


  • http://www.wood-carving-machine-tips.com Buzz Router

    i couldn’t agree more with Jason and would like to also add that a lot of internet uses think that everything they read online is gospel.

    My brother is pretty savvy and yet there have been a number of times we’ve talked and he has quoted something as being fact when it was way off base. I would ask him where he read that? His reply, “The Internet”.

    The internet is just another form of communication (or broadcast) and needs to be treated with the same amount of skepticism.

  • Guest

    Randy,I could not agree with you more. Little do you know haow right you are.

  • http://website-ni-juan Juan Dela Cruz

    Hope this might help somebody picture out how internet works.


  • http://www.itmentality.com.au IT Mentality

    John Howard maybe?

  • http://www.kevinwebb22.com Kevin Webb

    Your Plain story is a pretty weak example of someone who you think doesn’t understand the internet. I can think of dozens of better examples outside of the ones you posted.

    Good article title and subject… just poor examples.


  • http://www.DavidBatchelor.visit.ws David

    Thanks, that was worth a read.

    The internet is just another form of communication and needs to be treated with the same amount of scepticism.

    It never ceases to amaze me how people can be so bias without doing their own due diligence of both sides of the coin (so to speak).

    David Batchelor

    LifePath Unlimited
    Liberty League

  • http://getmoney2us.blogspot.com money

    in fact if it would benefit in terms of the internet is very useful as a means of communication both for a business or for people new to the internet world, we should respond without the need of wise people criticaster


  • http://www.enablermail.com/ email marketing software

    Add to the list Rupert Murdoch…


  • yeah

    And you reckon you get the int-er-net do you….pah!
    think again buddy, think again!

  • http://juliecaves.blogspot.com Julie Caves

    Thanks for this. It is well written which is hard to find. I will be looking for more that you have written.

  • http://www.seosean.com SEO Services

    There is too much generalizing when someone says “The Internet” – next time ask them what website they are talking about. That’s like saying “Well today the world told me….” When really it was one person or a specific group of people.

  • http://www.crearecommunications.co.uk Adam

    Just because Sarah Palin made a mistake regarding that site doesn’t mean she doesn’t understand or like the Internet. Like most people, she probably just doesn’t like being associated with crackho.com….

    • http://forexandpips.com/ forexandpips

      I reallylike this post so much thanks for this.

  • http://www.bestmobilebroadband.co.uk/ Mobile Broadband

    Given the success of the Obama internet campaign, it’s going to be pretty important for anyone with political aspirations in a country with established internet access to “get” the internet. Personally I think the “trivialisation” of communication is only ever a good thing, because everyone can have their say and express an opinion.

    • http://gordierogers.com Gordie Rogers

      Ron Paul, during the primaries was the most successful at using the net and huge a huge following, yet it still didn’t work for him. Shame.

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