If The Web Gets A Medal

Evgeny Morozov doesn't want the internet to be given a Nobel Peace Prize:

If the Internet gets the Nobel, it would further advance techno-utopian babble about the "hive mind" and ultimate peace that already occupies so many of the pages of Wired magazine (not to mention blog posts and tweets!).  The debate about the democratizing potential of the Internet - both in authoritarian and democratic contexts - is far from over, and while I tolerate the possibility, however abysmal,  that the Wired school of thought may be right, I think we've got good 20 or 30 years of debate ahead of us before we can say anything conclusively.

The dangerous rise of direct democracy, the paralysis of the political process under the pressure of over-empowered grassroots movement, the polarization of public debate, the end of the national conversation, not to mention new opportunities for surveillance and control - the Internet may be directly or indirectly responsible for all of these activities (the original assumption of Wired Italy - that the Internet will "destroy hate and conflict and to propagate peace and democracy" - is even more contentious). We don't know for sure - but this is no reason to stop the inchoate debate. If anything, we are not spending enough time talking about these issues in an intelligent manner; chances are we'd be talking about them even less if the Nobel goes to the Internet.