Wednesday, April 07, 2004

  1. I had a number of questions about Norris' focus on traditional modes of politics, her chosen units of analysis (eg: mainstream news sites), and ultimately the connection of her argument to the digital divide (this is the point on which I'll ask my question): to what degree does the Internet’s extension of traditional (corporate) media sustain the digital divide? What is the affect of alternative media (eg: If e-governance is so poor, what are the implications of some citizens not having access?
  2. Froehling says in the end that "Where cyberspace meets other flows of reality is where its potential lies." I'm taking this to mean that, at least in the case of the Zapatistas, the Internet alone has no effects; instead it takes other media and interpersonal networks to make things happen. Does this mean that Internet communication can just be a good way to get on the front page if you're well connected? What happens when you take the Internet component out of these flows? What happens to people/causes who are online but aren't connected to a flow (or at least the beneficial ones)? Was the Dean campaign an example of a molecular flow that wasn't accepted because it didn't fit into the molar party?
  3. I also have questions about political issues not in the readings… I take it for granted that individuals must be active to engage in politics (even if it's just seeking information); so, how can technical access limits or knowledge of how to effectively use the Internet create a political divide? Congresspeople still listen more to hand-written letters, so how much does electronic contact with a constituency really matter? What are the political aspects of the digital divide (what is politically stopping universal access)?

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