Geoge Soros has recently at the Davos meeting of “the great and the good” stated that it was time the Internet came under the control of governments particularly those elements such as Facebook and Google who he claimed were influencing peoples’ thought processes.
Karl Popper the 20thC philosopher once said that “too much tolerance in society led to the disappearance of tolerance.” In today’s world this seems true in that many minority and other specialist complainants manage to achieve a louder voice via the Internet than ever before. The media happily picks up on any potentially contentious or disruptive views or actions in order to titillate its news offerings. The more the debate they cause the bigger the audience and the better for their advertiser clients. The recent Me-Too uproar is illustrative of the power of Twitter and of feminist groups to attract attention to a cause. Male v Female is perhaps one of the world’s longest running discussions and their sexual attitudes. Now with actressess appearing from the woodwork complaining that someone once laid a hand on their not so private parts the arguments continue. So what’s new? Nothing really but attitudes and like fashion they tend to be circular given time.
What the Internet can do for Me-Too it can do for anything else of interest to the public and exploitation by the media. But by offering the public the capability for a huge variety of expression openly and immediately it gives choice to form any opinion whether stated or not to each individual. History shows that Governments and political parties are the first to try to persuade the public towards their viewpoints by all means possible, often by concealment, yet now the public is offered the full range of choice, this is seen as potential anarchy by Soros.
It is easy enough to see where Popper was coming from, and Soros too, as old men tend towards what they believe they have learned from the past without the knowledge of a future changing faster and faster in the new digital world of AI etc. TMI or “too much information” was an expression coined over ten years ago now as information overload seemed almost unbearable, yet this was before the days of Twitter and Facebook and their like where information, however banal, is exchanged and absorbed in sound bytes at ever increasing rates by the technologically adept of all ages, as few have understood better than the new American President Trump.
So what is the danger Soros sees? He talks of the need of Internet intervention by government but that is the pot calling the kettle black since it is the very reason the Internet needs be left free of controls. Soros as with most old men in their assumed sagacity do not like what they do not understand in the newnesss of humanity. But as with his generation once today’s new generations are born to comprehend their own age and make their choices, right or wrong. But no better media has ever existed than the Internet to offer that choice, certainly not the newspapers and TV stations of the past controlled by media moguls with their own agendas, just as governments would like for themselves.
Soros and his ilk aim for a hegomeny of one world government achieved by globalisation of a singular behaviour achieved by a compassionate alliance of corporate and political interests who know best. No less a meritocracy than Francis Bacon and the US Freemason Founding Fathers wanted for their New World Order. Or that of Hitler and Marx. Fortunately the public knows differently as history tells us in the fall of empires over thousands of years, however well intentioned their leaders, since one man’s ideals can be another man’s poison. As Montaigne well said “if there is one thing that is certain is that nothing is certain.” But then he did not know about the pontificating of those at Davos.