Morozov vs. Shirky: Your Makeup for Sandy


The Internet? What is it good for?

Think for a minute and explain whether the Internet, as the world’s largest network, has any use.

Considering what you’ve read in Evgeny Morozov’s book The Net Delusion, have you lost your optimisim for the Internet? How does Morozov’s tempered enthusiasm for the Internet challenges what he calls the cyberuptoianism that you might find in Clay Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus?

Does your initial impression of what the Internet is “good for” support or challenge what we’ve read in Morozov’s or Shirky’s works?

Post your response here on this very blog by Monday, December 17. Be sure to add the category “Net Delusion (Morozov)” to your post so I can find it easily.

My Excitement for the Internet

I am a bit older than most of you in class so my experience with the Internet has been different yours. While some of you probably never grew up without being connected to the Internet somehow, most of my training of the Internet came from the speculative narratives that were found in science fiction movies or in television programs about the future.

When I first connected to an Internet service, it was 1994. It was my first year of college, and we were all given, if we requested, an account on the local UNIX computer. Thinking back to that time, I’m surprised any of this even caught on. We had to dial in not to a beautiful graphical account, but to a command-line interface. Because most students were intimiated by the interface, they just used the account to check email. There were some of us who discovered aspects of the account. We discovered newsgroups, where I mostly read about my favorite bands from other fans We discovered gopher, an information service that was menu driven instead of hypertextual as is the web. And speaking of the web, that was around, but it was a text-only experience, using a UNIX browser named Lynx.

The excitement about my Internet account for more than just email was that I felt like I was connected to all those crazy futuristic services I saw in those movies and television shows about the web. (I wouldn’t discover until later that there existed whole of libraries of this literature, too.) Being connected to an invisible network is not just useful, it can be downright intoxicating. It’s hard not to let your imagination wander and dream of the possibilities that this network can realize.

I think all of us had this excitement the first time we went online. And this excitement has perhaps blinded us into thinking that this new technology can do more than just entertain us. By connecting us with the rest of the world, we can have a hand in changing it.

VideoAudio Lecture

Between getting the flu over the weekend and encountering some technical issues, I am posting a brief lecture on Morozov as an audio lecture. I hope it helps you with your assignment and your final exam.

Thanks for a great semester.

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Late, But Great: Morozov Response

Despite the author’s pessimistic take on an internet-dependent society, I took the time to digest both sides of the spectrum. While combing through his various political examples, I noticed that Morozov did his fair share of juxtapositions between the current/future state of the internet and the foundation and development of America (it’s safe to say that he’s not really a fan… no?) However despite his intolerable babbling at times, he did happen to stir up a slight bit of truth.

When Morozov compared the inability and complexity that arises from regulating the internet, he related it to the difficulties that occurred between state and federal legislation. The reality of the matter is that when a controlling entity lets a collection of people work towards formulating a separate, yet equally strong ideological structure (in this case from a geopolitical standpoint) fully imposing restrictions on that subculture is nearly impossible.

And there is where I grasped the lighter side of the argument: “there will always be resistance against imperialism”. For the sake of the internet, corporate interest and federal imposition continues to work towards debunking freedoms within the system. However, because they’ve let the internet grow at such a rapid and powerful rate (which I for one don’t think they saw coming) it has become too vast of an entity to control. However, there is the strong possibility that by slowly chipping away at certain “internet freedoms”, regulation could and, according to Morozov, will be the inevitable future for our liberalized virtual environment. I for one believe that we as a society are too strong and too smart to let this happen. There will always be loopholes and other means to create web-like duplicates for us to take advantage of. The powers that be may indeed succeed in this regulatory objective, but because they’ve let the world get a taste of internet freedom, there will always be resistance.


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Net delusion

I believe that the Internet is useful for alot of people.  we have the abilities to reach many people globally unlike before. we have social network sites like facebook twitter and that provide educational information like lexis nexus and So, not only does the The internet it also provides is fast and can send messages for communicate with loved ones and others to seek jobs or events. “The Net Delusion”, gives an dark insight to believe that the Internet can be a tool of destruction especially when one people want to take a stand on political views or concerns. it elludes that the flexibility of Internet clouds us from our realities of its purpose in usage is a downfall. it seems thats what he means by cyberutopanism. people look at the internet as a religion and always turn to it to prove its power of liberation. Now Shirkey makes it clear that the use of Internet has advantages for the people and is beneficial. Shirky feels the internet and social network sites helped built connections and relationships for the right reasons of mandkind. especially like the creation of gasbuddy during a horrible storm. it helped many people communicate with each other in search of  resources like gas. Morozov may look at the internet one way as dark and negative but shirky looks at it for the good. its like a double edge sword depending which side one uses it for.

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M.Mitchell on Morzov vs. Shirky

What is the Internet good for? The Internet is good depending on the way in which it is used. What’s good for some may be bad for others. The same way one individual may handle a life situation can be totally different from how another may handle that same situation. The ability to send and receive information with in an instant moment is incredible. I have  lived my childhood without the internet. It was a time when handwriting a letter was a more personable action to take. It meant that who ever wrote the letter cared enough about the receiver and physically put the letter in a mailbox.  How often is that done today? I feel that e-mail gives me the opportunity to write to many people much more often at a low cost. That’s a positive. The U.S. Postal Service is losing a great deal of business since the advent of e-mail which is a negative to that agency. Shirkey would probably agree that e-mail is a positive use of the internet. Morozov would probably agree as well but would be cautious of what can be done with e-mail being sent. What messages would be sent? How would they be interpreted? Both authors sparked interesting thoughts of the positive and negative concerning the internet. The ability to have access to so much information at my fingertips is amazing to say the least. I feel at a disadvantage if I don’t have access to it.  The recent hurricane Sandy damaged my home. My family and I had no power in it for two weeks. What did I miss the most? The access to all of the information available on the internet and the ability to connect with family members all at one time. A big positive!

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Penman on Morozov

The internet has proven to be a rather useful tool for both sharing and generating information. At this point in time (2012), this unique platform of technology has been integrated into many aspects our lives. There is an abundance of devices that enable consumers to utilize the internet in an assortment of ways. With the internet becoming such an integral part of our lives, it can become something to caution as well. In Evgeny Morozov’s book, The Net Delusion, we are enlightened to potential dark shades of the internet that we may not normally consider. In further examining this book we can obtain a better understanding of the internet and its possible negative effects.
Morozov is not as interested with the benefits of the internet for the consumer. Rather he looks at the producers and controllers of the internet. His argument seemingly coincides with the theory of “program or be programmed.” In that he analyzes how consumers enjoy the virtual playground that is the internet, while producers manufacture the interface that these consumers take advantage of.
The relationship between consumer and producer is rather exceptional. Those who generate the online environment have ultimate control of what the average consumer sees and can do, while the consumer can merely do nothing but interact with the supplied environment the way it is presented. This provides the producer with an enormous amount of control. This control, Morozov proposes, is why a concept such as “cyber optimism” is faulty.
In an environment that has the availability to be manipulated to serve as a hegemonic device for controlling powers, how can one be so naive. I firmly agree with Morozov’s caution of the internet, we must be more aware in how we indulge as consumers. It is just intelligence that we as consumers need to be educated in how the internet functions and is used by those who construct it. This will enable us to continue to consume with caution and therefore maintain the environment that we have grown to enjoy so much

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Net Delusion Morozov

The internet is good for many things, such as communicating with others and its a great source for information. The internet is used almost for everything like school, work, fun, and business it is in our every day lives. Being able to use the internet has many advantages but unfortunately there are also disadvantages like privacy. in this day of age everything is on the internet and many people and organizations have access to every data and information one puts up. If in the hands of wrong people that information can cause very unpleasant situations. One example that i have come across myself is when i received a Facebook message from a friend and i was able to see exactly where and the address of the message that was sent.

After reading Evgeny Morozov’s book The Net Delusion, i haven’t really lost my optimism for the internet but it allowed me to look at the at a different perspective. There are downsides to the internet yes of course but we cannot avoid using the internet it has become so much apart of us. However it can be modified perhaps. the internet is a wonderful technology only if used the right way.

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Response to The Net Delusion

The internet has many uses. People all over the world use the internet to share data, ideas and more. Many people find out news on the internet even before it is available on tv and other media. Research can be done, companies and people sell products on the net and also invest money into things. Considering what Morozov discusses in his book, “The Net Delusion”, I have to say that i have not lost optimism for the internet. I believe the internet has brought us a long way and makes our lives easier even though Morozov believes we should stop thinking of the internet as “liberating” and can be a disaster for the future of democracy.

Morozov discusses something called “cyber-optimism” which basically is a belief that communication is liberating and that the internet favors the oppressed instead of the oppressors. He feels this belief is naive and stubborn for not realizing the internet’s downside. Shirky spoke about LoLcats and agreed that new media applications like that are important but believes that at least the same effort should be put in to have more humanitarian applications which would help people if there would be any life threatening incidences. I do agree with Shirky on this matter. I support Shirky’s beliefs and am completely against Morozov’s beliefs. The internet has brought us so far and will continue to develop and we can further educate ourselves in the years to come.

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Morozov vs. Shirkey

The Internet now-a-days has gained many different uses. The question asked is does the Internet as the world’s largest network have any use? My answer is yes. I believe that the Internet is used for the betterment of people in some cases. For example, we have websites such as and which help us and give us the necessary information that we need. So, not only does the Internet provide us with information, but it also provides a way for us to rapidly communicate with one another and a way to share precious moments with one another. In Evengy Morozov’s book “The Net Delusion”, he seems to believe that the Internet has many downsides. Especially when it comes to democracy. He believes that the liberating nature of the Internet blinds us from really ‘seeing the light’ to all of the Internets downfalls. That is what he means by cyberutopanism right? The belief that online communication is emancipating. Notice how he says that it’s a belief. He does not think it’s necessarily true. On the other hand, Clay Shirkey believes that the use of Internet promotes the better good. He believes that the new digital and Internet based media have affected the relations between people in a good way and that it benefits the common good of all people. He believes that the abundant amount of information shared between all users will help for a great democratic society. Unlike Morozov who believes that the information being shared is killing democracy. I am going to have to agree with Shirkey on this one. I think that although the Internet may be the source for a lot of horrible things like child pornography or cyber bullying, we have to look at the helpful aspect of it and focus on that. It seems to me that Morozov wants to glorify the Internets negativity. The Internet still has a use and I really don’t think that it’s use will disappear anytime soon.

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Response to The Net Delusion

The internet is the world’s largest network. Everyone in the world uses it for any purpose; to buy and sell things through the Internet with, communicate with others with E-mail, and to use various search engines for personal gain with Google. From what I see with the internet, it is clearly a very useful tool for everyone around the world. But after reading Evgeny Morozov’s The Net Delusion, I felt very discouraged to put any information on the internet because of all of the data tracking, and serious lack of privacy. So, I sort of lost my optimism in the internet due to all of the flaws that the internet has. But at the same time, I’m going to use the internet regardless because it is used every day of our lives. People use the internet to apply for jobs, internships, and colleges. So it’s merely impossible to not use the internet for every day purposes.

What interested me was that Morozov uses this term that I have never heard of before: “cyber-utopianism.” According to Morozov, “cyber-utopianism” is “a naïve belief in the emancipatory nature of online communication that rests on a stubborn refusal to acknowledge its downside”(p. xiii). Morozov uses this term to coincide with Clay Shirky’s discussion of the “LolCat” in Chapter 3, Orwell’s Favorite Lolcat. In Cognitive Surplus, Shirky discusses the meanings and the ideologies behind the Lolcat pictures people post all over the internet. These “LolCat” pictures appear to be funny and/or cute, but Morozov muses that posting pictures like this on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networking site relates to propaganda. Morozov says “While it is tempting to encourage everyone to flock to social networking sites and blogs to avoid the control of the censors, it would also play into the hands of those in charge of surveillance and propaganda.” This is one of the reasons why I lost optimism in the internet because of acts like this.

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Thoughts on Clay Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus

Clay Shirky is described as a wise observer of new forms of tech-enabled social interaction, or in simpler terms, an ‘internet guru.’ Shirky’s book Cognitive Surplus takes a look at the implications new digital and internet-based media have for affecting not only what information is shared between people now, but also how it affects relationships and benefits the common good of all people. One of Shirky’s arguments, which I think is upheld by most new media scholars, is that digital and internet media allow for interaction between the content and the user; that the kinds of information that is shared and by whom varies greatly from (and is a vast improvement upon) old media, and that this abundance of information that is to be shared freely by all users of the internet will result in a great democratic society.

Another of Shirky’s arguments is that investors, programmers, and others responsible for creating new media need to use their talents and wherewithal to create media for the common good. Shirky agrees that leisurely applications of new media such as “LOLcats” or “farting apps” serve important purposes, but he feels that just as much (or more) effort should be spent on creating more humanitarian applications such as those that track attacks or warfare in a country in real time, which help people to escape real life-threatening danger. Shirky’s wish for this is a noble one.

We spoke of one issue with Shirky’s ideals in class, and I am in agreement with the following. Shirky takes no issue with the fact that commercial or governmental interests on the internet can be highly invasive to the privacy of individuals and that faceless entities are compiling countless bits of data pertaining to all aspects of our lives for the purpose of selling us a product. The information that is collected can be used against us in negative ways, as Eli Pariser hypothesizes in The Filter Bubble.  Shirky doesn’t seem to be preoccupied with this very crucial issue, and while I agree with the points he does argue in his research and ideology, I think circumventing Pariser’s realm of research is truly a problem with Shirky’s work. In any case, however, it is completely fine for a researcher to focus specifically on one area of a particular technology because it is difficult to research, discuss, and write about all aspects of any given technology. If this simple reality is the issue behind Shirky’s neglect of Filter Bubble-related concepts, then I can better understand why he chooses not to approach those concepts.

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