David Weinberger: "The Internet error was to think that freedom of expression was good"

China activated a technology to measure the "social value" of each citizen China creates a television presenter with artificial intelligence to give the n

David Weinberger:

China activated a technology to measure the "social value" of each citizen

China creates a television presenter with artificial intelligence to give the news throughout the day

defines itself as "an optimistic depressed of the Internet" and is a type exceptional in many ways. Doctor of philosophy of formation, David Weinberger is one of the biggest experts on the web from all over the world. A man that takes his time before responding to a question, and that takes many turns around a same idea but, at the same time, he is able to dazzle an audience up to the flag and to dissect, as few have managed, the impact of the Internet on human relationships and how it is transforming the knowledge in the society.

Nearly 20 years after publishing The CluetRain Manifesto (1999), the bestseller that has set paradigms to understand how the Internet has radically changed the world of marketing, Weinberger continues in active giving talks. In his last stop, he has visited the space Medialab-Prado for the opening of the international Workshop on Collective Intelligence for Democracy and collaborate with the authors of projects selected for this space.

Marketing, search engines, electoral campaigns in Internet, journalism... throughout his career, Weinberger has touched virtually all areas of the Internet, and even we have more than enough time to devote to the humor as the author of jokes in comics or the world of academia in some of the most prestigious institutions in the world, such as Harvard.

The conversation with him becomes a vine, and each question has references to the above. Think, he says, turns back on itself. Weinberger, in a certain way, exposes his thoughts with the same structure that has Internet, and your own resume, a large network of points interconnected chaotic appearance, hides behind a brilliant knowledge accumulated over decades of reflection, study and observation.

P: What Has made the Internet good or bad for society?

R: Today is not recognized enough for everything good that has brought the Internet. The conversation focuses on the wrong that has been done, but I try to focus on the fundamental aspects in which the Internet affects our society in a good way.

Q: like What?

A: In the last century, the human we have become consumers of information. This means that part of our day-to-day consists in gathering different sources of information and entertainment with the goal of being more intelligent, make better decisions and be more happy. Up to now, the information and the entertainment were in the hands of a few. Now, with the internet anyone can be heard in the whole world.

Q: That is something in power that rarely happens. Most of the blogs or the social networks of people have a very limited scope...

Now, someone very small can accomplish something big. Before it was impossible. An example of this is the history of hashtags. Were not invented by Twitter, is invented by a user during a conference. He came up with the idea that all could see the comments of the rest of the attendees. From there, others copied, and the social network incorporated.

Were those hastags have made Twitter into a means of communication with which to find information on a new topic and have allowed the emergence of movements such as the #MeeToo, who do not have a leader or structure, only one hashtag has made it possible for a movement as well, something that a guy came up in a conference.

Q:But it has also allowed the emergence of bots. In the united States do not stop talking of the bots russians and accuse them of manipulating the elections...

A: The error in regard to the internet was to think that freedom of expression was good, but we'd never had the freedom of expression that we have now. Before, it was limited to a local scope as to complain about in the street but we were lacking a freedom of expression that would allow us to reach any part of the world as is happening now with Twitter and with electronic communications.

at the same time, science has also discovered shortcomings of our brain as the confirmation biased. Now we have a freedom of expression that we never had but, at the same time, we know new mechanisms for distributing lies, and we know how to cheat better to our brains.

Q: And how Do you prepare people for that freedom of expression? how does one solve the problem?

I don't Really know. I think that we should try anything but may not have a unique solution. That would be to go back to the early authoritarian. Right now, a single agent, the russians, you can fill out the internet bots to manipulate the information. It is a reality that there are people who, for political or economic reasons, working with the intention to subvert the will of the people.

the Internet has already shown that it is able to end up with seemingly unsolvable problems. 15 years ago the SPAM was a problem that was bogging the email but, in a blink of an eye, a combination of technical and commercial interests were able to stop the problem.

Now is a scenario something different, a few hackers are very clever and can put you in danger to a democracy like the united States. At the moment we are doing quite well. Bots contribute to amplify misinformation that people spread intentionally. This is a very important problem and, as our democracy depends on ending up with the bots and I hope that we will be able to fix it.

Q: What is the best and the worst of the following internet companies?

R: I don't know how I will be able to respond to you...

Q: Facebook

What's best: have 2,3 billion users. Something has to be doing well.

What's worst: their incentive to generate clicks gets in his own origin as a social network

Q: Twitter:

The best thing: they have given Us a new rhetoric. A way of speaking in which anyone can speak out and be heard.

What's worst: Have to deal with the hate speech. Can't keep hiding behind that are an open platform.

Q: Amazon

best of all: Your policy on product reviews

What's worst: His aggressive behavior has left no business to entire industries

Q: Netflix

Your good content is the best and the worst that they have. There are great things but there are also a lot of content unacceptable.

Q: Let's turn to a concrete example, what has improved the life of a normal type of middle class?

A: I have attained 68 years of age, but when they were a child were leaving the newspaper to the door every morning. When you find an article that you liked or about a subject you're interested in it, you wanted more information. But there was no way that you could get more information. In a newspaper there is some news, the most recent information and does not have sense to go to the library because you'll only find another copy of the same. Neither had computers or a search engine like Google that will help in that task, and you stay there stagnant. Today this process is not repeated, because the Internet we take it for granted, as a right and is a good thing. We always want to know more and learn about what interests us. If today we return to the situation before the Internet, feel that we are in prison.

P: What Has ceased to be so optimistic with respect to the Internet?

R: I Am an optimistic and depressed. The Internet has many problems. I became interested in the Internet in the early 90's. I thought that was a technology that could not be stopped by your ability to connect to people, but the reason for my optimism was not technology, were the people. The technology without anyone who use it is nothing. It was a sort of faith hippy: if you connect to several people without restrictions bring out the best of themselves. However, when you see some of the nightmares of the Internet as a campaign of harassment and racism I find it depressing.

Q: the Internet has given rise to new offences, and a lot of people are worried because their children are the victim of them, How should you tackle the problem?

R: you should give them a base to the smaller ones and keep in mind that the Internet, as is logical, is composed of various spaces. There must be spaces in which people could express their anger. Do not have to be the most valuable, but play a role. The concept of open space does not exist on the Internet. To access you use a certain application or program. Each space is conceived with a set of rules.

Q: people often learn to use and to interact on the Internet self-taught. Do you think that we should educate people in their use of any way?

A: the Internet works by trial, error, and recommendations of third parties, but the problem is that we are teaching to the new generations so outdated. As it was before the Internet existed. For example, many people believe that if something is on the Internet has to be true. Nothing could be further from the reality.

Q: 40 years Ago, argues that information passed through a few hands: it was filtered, there was a publisher, etc... however, now it is Google who is in charge of ordering and hierarchisation of the that information, we have changed the task that made a human by a machine

R: Yes. But the unfiltered information does not exist. There should be a filter for information.

Q: And What about in the Deep web?

Even in the darkest corners of the web there is a filter based on the confidence that people have access to those sites.

Q: And What about on the Internet 'normal' that uses any?

A: I Think that the filters have to exist. However, it is necessary to know who filtered it, how biased it is, what your interests are and to what extent it affects them. The filters (whether human or algorithmic) are not a problem. It is for people to learn more about how they work to be able to discern.

Q: can I recover the net neutrality in the united States?

R: it Is an unnatural state for the Internet. The problem is that the oligopoly of the Internet has become stronger and has been entrenched. In the early 2000's there were thousands of Internet service providers. The supreme court banned it. With new legislation it would be possible. In addition, the municipalities and the states could provide their own network-neutral Internet as it is trying to do California.

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Date Of Update: 25 November 2018, 20:01

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