Internet Philosophies Reveal Net Attitudes

April 2000
by Reid Goldsborough

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These days you just might hear someone say, “I am, therefore
I surf.” PCs and the Internet that links them are becoming so
central to our way of life that they’ve spawned whole new
schools of thought.

Internet philosophies with imposing names such as
cyberlibertarianism, cyberutopianism, technorealism, technohedonism,
cyberfeminism, and cyberunionism have emerged into the light of
intellectual discourse.

Delving into the isms of cyberspace might not seem as practical
as learning to be efficient when doing a Web search. But, as with
philosophy in general, it can help you see the big picture and put
matters into context. This can be profitable in all kinds of ways,
whether you approach the Internet from a business or consumer
perspective.

A Central Principle:

Cyberlibertarianism

If there’s one school of thought that’s key in
understanding the mindset of the Net and its denizens, it’s cyberlibertarianism, which was born during the time when
academics and hobbyists dominated the bitstream and which still
pervades the commercial Internet today. Advocates believe in freedom
from interference by government and other institutions. They want to
surf and speak unfettered, and they extol the mantra: “Information wants to be free.”

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