Over in The Atlantic, Jaron Lanier writes at length about Wikileaks:
Can we say Wikileaks is doing anything beyond sterile information worship? Is it engaged in nonviolent activism?
We celebrate the masters of nonviolent activism, such as Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. All these figures displayed astounding courage, faced arrest, and suffered without hating their oppressors in order to demonstrate a common humanity. These remarkable people did not make “Crush the bastards” into their mantra.
So the question has to be, if you add the Internet, can you now be a nonviolent activist without having to show courage and respect the opposing side? Is it now suddenly helpful to be a troll, attacking from the darkness, as the members of Anonymous do? Does the Internet really make life that much easier?
Of course it doesn’t.
I haven’t decided what I think yet—but I’m thankful to Alexis for publishing this. Another really salient line:
w can you tell when you are the underdog versus when you are powerful? When you get that perception wrong, you can behave quite badly quite easily.
I’m not going to blockquote the kicker, but it’s powerful. Go check it out. And note The Atlantic Science/Tech section’s range, here: this is a site that’s hosting Jaron Lanier and Cablegate Roulette.