The Internet – more specifically, the Web – is hell for authoritarians. It’s broken all the codes. There’s free assembly. There’s sex. It’s a fiery pit. No wonder commentators are divided. The Web makes you intellectually – even neuroanatomically – stuporous, argues Nicholas Carr in The Shallows (2010). Not so, rejoins Steven Johnson in Everything Bad is Good for You (2005). The moral argument pitches between poles.
Meanwhile, the punters vote with their mice, holing up with xhamster.com or spending three billion hours a week playing online games. Gaming and pornography are the only two human activities that have been consistently and successfully monetised from the outset. It goes to show.
What exactly it