Thursday, October 15, 2009

Evgeny Morozov

On Friday, we listened to Evgeny Morozov's speech about how some dictatorships and tyrannical governments can use the internet to strengthen their grip on the population. The overall theme of his lecture was that the internet can be a double-edged blade, or a tool that can be used for charitable or malicious purposes. I find this point of view to be the best I've heard so far because it includes the black and white side of the issue, turning it a wonderfully unique shade of gray.

First, an overview. Evgeny Morozov gave examples of instances where the internet can be used for evil instead of good while proving that he is knowledgeable about how the internet operates on most levels. This is so refreshing to hear when all I hear is normally completely positive or uninformed and negative. He mentions how flawed the idea of “democracy through the internet” truly is, as well as the incident in China involving bloggers and the prisoner that was killed by hitting his head against a wall. These show how negative the internet is on a larger scale and on a smaller scale in a quick, concise, and effective way.

Second, my opinion. I think that this lecture is a refreshing way to think of the internet; a double-edged sword. Although he does mention that the internet can be very useful, if only briefly, he focuses on what most speakers ignore; the negative. This is so fantastic to me because I constantly warn what the internet can be used for: the evil and malicious. Finally I have stumbled upon someone who has enough sense to bring this aspect into the light.

In conclusion, I believe that Evgeny Morozov has brought up some excellent points about the negative aspects of the internet, a point of view that is rarely brought up, and backed them up with concrete examples.

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