howard reingold interview

howard reingold, author of smart mobs among other books, was interviewed for the guardian unlimited. flash mobs may have been quite a short-lived and overhyped phenomenon, yet the relevance of mobile technologies for social and political organising have recently been proven again during the days after the madrid bombings.
on online interaction: ‘There is a certain literacy about how you use online communication. We all have a lot of training in face-to-face verbal discourse, from the moment our mother slaps our hand when we say the wrong thing at table, but online, people just start doing it. They don’t realise there’s a lot of ambiguity in the written word and there’s a lack of inhibition online, which can be a good thing but it also means people who wouldn’t be rude to your face will be rude to you online. Too much rudeness and making assertions without backing them up can pollute the online marketplace of ideas. I think it’s great that free speech exists online and I would forever defend it, but free speech is not simply the freedom to say any stupid thing that comes to mind.’
on blogs: ‘It’s unfortunate that journalism in much of the world has become a wholly owned subsidiary of entertainment. It’s not groceries these people are selling, it’s opinions and beliefs and they are at the root of democracy.’

About Jan Zuppinger

Jan Zuppinger has been writing this blog since 2002. He likes to grow vegetables. He likes to eat them too. He has opinions on everything, but sadly no one cares. Jan Zuppinger is not joking, just joking, he is joking, just joking, he's not joking. *click.