How a policy is understood and discussed is its policy image. Policy images play a critical role in the expansion of issues to the previously apathetic. Because all people cannot be equally interested or knowledgeable about all issues facing society, specialists in any area have an advantage over all others. Since they know the issue better, they are sometimes able to portray most of their time communicating with each other, of course, but from time to time they must explain their policies to the larger public or to elites with only a passing interest in the area. This type of communications requires some simplified ways of explaining the issue and justifying public policy approaches to them. As a result, every public policy program is usually understood, even by the politically sophisticated, in simplified and symbolic terms.
Frank R. Baumgartner and Bryan D. Jones, Agendas and Instability in American Politics (Second Edition)
From Warren McCulloch, one of the founding fathers of cybernetics:
“I don’t particularly like people, never have. Man to my mind is about the nastiest, most destructive of all animals. I don’t see any reason, if he can evolve machines that can have more fun than he himself can, why they shouldn’t take over, enslave us, quite happily. They might have a lot more fun, invent better games than we ever did.”
quoted in Mary Catherine Bateson, Our Own Metaphor (New York: Knopf, 1972)
Techno-utopianism (dystopianism?) for the win.
I treat the Internet like a fucking asp, like a dangerous reptile - my comfort sole squashed down hard on the snakeneck … Your security is only as trustworthy as the worst person on Earth.
Security advice from ‘Tycho’, “A Teachable Moment”
Social utopians like Haque, Tapscott and Jarvis are, of course, wrong. The age of networked intelligence isn’t very intelligent. The tragic truth is that getting naked, being yourself in the full public gaze of today’s digital network, doesn’t always result in the breaking down of ancient taboos. There is little evidence that networks like Facebook, Skype and Twitter are making us any more forgiving or tolerant. Indeed, if anything, these viral tools of mass exposure seem to be making society not only more prurient and voyeuristic, but also fuelling a mob culture of intolerance, schadenfreude and revengefulness.
Andrew Keen, #digitalvertigo: how today’s online social revolution is dividing, diminishing, and disorienting us
… it is worth continuing to ask whether the problem is solely, or even mostly, spectrum. The large wireless carriers could also increase the information-carrying capacity of their networks by building more towers and connecting them to fiber rather than copper wires. Today, even though 97.8 percent of the U.S. population has 3G coverage, more than 80 percent of cell sites are still connected to copper wires. But since the goal of any private company seeking Wall Street investment is to achieve the same levels of revenue (or more) while laying out less money, spending on “backhaul” (connections between towers and Internet access points) has not been a high priority. The problem in wireless transmission, therefore, is probably the wires and the towers, not spectrum. Executive compensation and quarterly results trump higher-quality service every time.
Susan Crawford, Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age