The Null Device

2000/12/10

The World-Wide Mall: Jakob Nielsen on how the web is turning into a low-trust environment, as the utopian visions of community from a few years ago gave way to models based on "eyeball herding", lock-ins and a passive, consumerist dominant culture.

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Meanwhile, a Missouri legislator has introduced a bill which will legalise violence against the longhair commie scum who desecrate the flag. Under the proposed bill, those rescuing flags from said longhairs would be allowed to use force, and could not be charged with theft or assault. (via Unknown News)

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In the US, being black is often seen as probable cause, enough to justify police searches, interrogations, even pre-emptive shootings. In some counties with a particularly bad problem with racial profiling and police brutality, black parents are buying their kids pre-paid legal services and warning them not to stand out.

"Some of my students have said my generation has failed them," said Woods. " . . .They wonder to what extent there is progress when you have to beg for your life on a random encounter with a public servant."

(via Unknown News)

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Is the Internet a fad which has had its day? It seems that growing numbers of people who have tried the Net are abandoning it, turning their computers off and going outside into the sunlight. This raises some interesting issues. If 1994, when the influx of Internet users began was "the year September never ended" (September being the start of the US academic year and the traditional influx of newbies), could the Great September be said to be over, having lasted some six years? Will ordinary, non-technical people generally keep using the Net casually, or will they completely abandon it (as CB radio was abandoned after the late-70s boom)? Will what remains go back to some semblance of the halcyon days of yore before spam and "Me Too" posts from AOL, or will it dwindle away into an all but dead medium?

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