Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Prisoner and the Internet

In the Wall Street Journal Daniel Henninger compares the internet to the large white balloon that prevents people escaping from the island in The Prisoner. The balloon, like the web, 'pacifies' its victims. I like that.


  1. Egg-bloody-xactly! Damned my girl last night for getting this laptop. I should be out fishing - in the real world!

  2. Real world? That's dangerous talk, Snakepit...

  3. The difference is that the Internet "bubble" (now we have two bubble metaphors for the Internet!) traps people on is the island of their own lies and stupidity. I'm finding it hard to gin up any Orwellian dread over the fate of the political "victims" cited in Henninger's article. Politicians should have to run a gauntlet of scrutiny, at least if our exercise in democratic governance is to mean anything.

    I don't think that the web pacifies its "victims" (I'm really finding it impossible to view the current crop of candidates in that light), it merely punishes them for their lies and mistakes with a speed and ferocity heretofore unimaginable.

    The bubble isn't keeping candidates from making the bold and unpopular statements that need to be told, because neither of the democratic candidates has any desire to do that. Both are manufacturing images and scripting messages of themselves purely to manipulate demographically triangulated public opinion. The unscripted gaffes of the staffers and supporters are peeks behind the curtain, true glimpses of what the candidates are about. Neither candidate can afford for that to continue. It doesn't promote "the message".