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Quotes I interpret as about the Internet, from Hannah Arendt's 1950s political philosophy

1 min read

We often talk about computer-mediated communication, but there's also an important sense in which the Internet provides for communication with less mediation and context than we're accustomed to, with a shock to the participants because of the lack of relation they have to one another. See, Reddit.

The weirdness of this situation resembles a spiritualistic seance where a number of people gathered around a table might suddenly, through some magic trick, see the table vanish from their midst, so that two persons sitting opposite each other were no longer separated but also would be entirely un-related to each other by anything tangible.

I especially like this for anticipating the challenges of archiving as necessary for the Internet to be a "public space":

If the world is to contain a public space, it cannot be erected for one generation and planned for the living only; it must transcend the life-span of mortal men.

Quotes from: Arendt, Hannah. The Human Condition. University of Chicago Press,