Why the internet sucks (part 2)

Posted on July 15, 2010

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I’m a bit late with this post, and I apologize for that.  However, I have had a fair amount of time to consider this next installment.  This does not mean that I have profound things to say about anything, merely that I have a lot.  So please bear with me as I slog through these thoughts:

I want to say that the internet enables social behavior that would normally earn a respectable beating.  I would consider talking about the antisocial nature of our technology.  Instead I’ll focus on something a bit more serious: the misuse of information.  With the internet, there is no such thing as data that goes missing.  It should be assumed that anything posted to cyberspace will invariably remain, in one form or another, until the Martian-Nuclear-Zombie Apocalypse wipes our memories and leaves us as gibbering husks of protomatter.

Thus we have things like this video, or this one, or this one, floating around.

Go on.  Watch them.  I’ll wait.

Did you watch them?  I’m sure you didn’t.  I know cause I usually skip that sort of thing until morbid curiosity sets in.  Consider this a reason: convservative talking heads have recently started “speaking out” against voter intimidation in the 2008 election.  Their claim is that African-Americans, members of the New Black Panthers, engaged in intimidating behavior at a polling station, have been brought up on charges of breaking the law, and are getting away on the basis that the Department of Justice will not pursue “black-on-white” hate crimes.

1) I’m paraphrasing.  I’ve read more than I’ve posted and I’ve listened to the radio, so there’s a lot of “information” that I could put up, but won’t, because a lot of it is either redundant or political spin.

2) Why now?  If the video shows evidence of intimidation, and someone was intimidated, then the case should have been brought up long before now.  It should have made national news from the start.  Why are we hearing of this two years after the fact?  I have two answers: let’s see which one sounds plausible.  The first is that, within our society, the media, liberal organizations and Democrats collectively turn away from any instance where a black man is accused of breaking the law.  This is helped by the fact that our president is African-American.  The other answer is that a much smaller group of media personnel and political activists are selecting a rarely viewed, mostly unknown piece of footage and broadcasting it in order to sway the minds of their followers.

If, and I must stress this, IF the video in question showed the Black Panthers intimidating people at a polling station, then I would agree that they should be prosecuted for breaking the law.  However, as the video does not prove that that happened, I think it’s fair to assume that someone attempted to prosecute back in 2009, and the case was thrown out for a lack of sufficient evidence.  Actually, that’s what happened!  But then someone steps forward and accuses the DoJ of being biased in their application of the law, yada-yada-yada…

Thus I am convinced that the internet is a crappy place, because these videos, the case and the controversy is severely blown out of proportion as a direct result of people (like myself) having way too much time on their hands.

I asked my daughter what she thought about this debacle, and she had the following to say:

Very enlightening.  I think we should all take a cue from her and get out our favorite shiny playtoys.

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Posted in: Philosophy, Politics