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+1 vote
Personally I think, despite problems presented by it, the internet would be extremely desirable in any society. Mostly because it is the most extensive library to have ever existed, and without capitalism more books would be available to read online. What do you think about phones as well? Modern phones provide constant access to almost any knowledge you could want. Without this quick communication would it even be possible to collaborate enough to make such devices? Think about all of the resources that go into making them. I'm into the DIY attitude but (not only about phones) most people can't get all of the different raw components of something like that especially if they are spread out over a large geographical area, which brings me back to the communication issue.

2 Answers

+1 vote
no, as some end goal, it would not be desirable to me.
global systems, constant access to the kind of information that phones provide, quickness as a benefit... all of these things distance me/us from other things -- like being in the moment, attending to what is around me, taking time to understand and experience what is right in front of me.

the things that you list as benefits i think of not only as sorry substitutes for what is actually important, what actually makes life worth living, but as precluding a better relationship with the world.
they're only benefits in a society that values the wrong things (like immediacy, information for information's sake, an over-reliance on predictability, things being standardized, etc).
(and this doesn't even mention the environmental impact of resource extraction that is required for production of these things -- which is a potentially much larger, philosophical as well as logistical, conversation.)
by (53.1k points)
I don't have a desire one way or the other as far as the continued existence of the internet is concerned as it does exist, I've no power to destroy it, and circumstances which lead to it's disappearance are not certain to occur in such a fashion as to allow me to intervene to preserve it.

That said, Rick Roderick has an interesting series of lectures dealing with the effect of the incredible informational complexity of modernity on the individual's construction of their Self, which I found well worth the time to listen.

The Self Under Siege (Parts 1 through 8)

edited to make comment
this seems like a comment more than an answer, no?

do you only care about things you have the power to influence?
Perhaps, though I would consider the many hours of lecture on the impact of modern information technology on the individual to constitute an answer in it's own right.

Care contains within it a particular emotional content absent from my statement. However, I do only concern myself with my world such as I may interact with it, and push to the bounds of my awareness elements of it with which I may not interact. For example, it is purported to be that at a relatively near time in the future my capacity for consciousness will collapse, negating a need for me to maintain interest in the events which occur thereafter beyond such due curiosity as pleases me.
links are interesting and are great to flesh things out, but they are not answers in themselves.
especially not when it's hours of lecture...
although i appreciate what is perhaps the meta answer you're going for. still, this is a 101 site, so...
+1 vote
I have the desire for the internet to continue existing in some form, as I perceive value in being able to communicate like we are on this forum, and in the ability to share information with one another in many ways without the necessity of geographical closeness.

However, there are many undesirable attributes of the internet to me, including the resources required to keep it going in the manner it's run now. So, I'd prefer to see some scaled down version of it (perhaps it would be more regional, for example).

As far as phones, I've never owned a cell phone and never will, but I would prefer to see land lines continuing to exist. But the question of how and in what form land lines could be maintained in a world without (or with increasingly failing) hierarchy is something I don't have enough technical details about to provide a satisfactory answer.

I'd still be content if no form of internet or phones existed, as I realize that the hierarchies and forms of domination that currently exist to produce this "communications" network are undesirable. I do see the possibility of creating some sort of networks without hierarchy, but there are so many obstacles in the way and so many differing ways of thinking that would have to exist to make this a reality, that I don't hold out much hope for it.

I agree with dot's observations about how, generally speaking, these devices of supposed "connection" actually serve to drive us further apart and reduce intimacy and co-operation in our lives. That's one reason why I've never had a cell phone and use the internet for only a narrow range of applications.

So, no to the internet and phones as they are, but yes to having them in some re-imagined way that would be consistent with anarchy - how possible or how likely that is to occur - I don't have the answer.

edited for grammatical errors (but there are probably more, sorry)
by (8.5k points)
edited by