See only what you want to see, hear only what you want to hear, read only what you want to read. In cyberspace, we already have the ability to filter out everything but what we wish to see, hear, and read. Tomorrow, our power to filter promises to increase exponentially. With the advent of the Daily Me, you see only the sports highlights that concern your teams, read about only the issues that interest you, encounter in the op-ed pages only the opinions with which you agree. In all of the applause for this remarkable ascendance of personalized information, Cass Sunstein asks the questions, Is it good for democracy? Is it healthy for the republic? What does this mean for freedom of speech?
Republic.com exposes the drawbacks of egocentric Internet use, while showing us how to approach the Internet as responsible citizens, not just concerned consumers. Democracy, Sunstein maintains, depends on shared experiences and requires citizens to be exposed to topics and ideas that they would not have chosen in advance. Newspapers and broadcasters helped create a shared culture, but as their role diminishes and the customization of our communications universe increases, society is in danger of fragmenting, shared communities in danger of dissolving. In their place will arise only louder and ever more extreme echoes of our own voices, our own opinions.
In evaluating the consequences of new communications technologies for democracy and free speech, Sunstein argues the question is not whether to regulate the Net (it's already regulated), but how; proves that freedom of speech is not an absolute; and underscores the enormous potential of the Internet to promote freedom as well as its potential to promote "cybercascades" of like-minded opinions that foster and enflame hate groups. The book ends by suggesting a range of potential reforms to correct current misconceptions and to improve deliberative democracy and the health of the American republic.
Chat with Cass Sunstein in a Message Forum hosted beginning April 1, 2001.
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The center does not hold. The rise of customizable media has mainstream thinkers, used to a near-monopoly on attention, running scared. Legal scholar Cass R. Sunstein makes the case for a more robust information diet from a slightly left of center point of view in Republic.com. Building on the ideas of the Technorealist movement, Sunstein focuses on the increasing volume of extremist voices as people choose to read or listen to only those points of view they already share. Though it seems that he occasionally overstates his case--it seems unlikely that we'll ever really be able to filter every unwanted or unexpected opinion--he does score some solid blows against the current, more or less laissez faire system. His prose is clear and accessible--exactly the kind of reasoned discourse he values and wants to preserve. His proposed program of government-sponsored and mandated public media spaces probably won't rouse many readers to wholehearted endorsement, but the suggestion that we have problems brewing ought to be enough to spur further thought. Since everyone from the American Nazi Party to the Zapatistas has found a stronger voice via the Internet, it's little wonder that we're starting to hear concerned prophets warning of a new Babel. Whether we can--or should--do anything beforehand is an open question; Republic.com makes a strong and pointed case against the status quo. --Rob LightnerFrom the Back Cover:
"Cass Sunstein is one of the nation's preeminent legal minds and constitutional scholars. In Republic.com, he presents insightful and far-reaching perspectives on the Internet and its impact on free speech, the marketplace of ideas, and our democracy itself. He offers a lesson worth heeding by us all. The Internet is an effective means for preserving and promoting these cherished principles. But it also has the potential to undermine them--and we must not let that happen."--Senator Edward M. Kennedy
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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, 2002. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0691095892
Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, 2002. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0691095892
Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, 2002. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110691095892