Sunday, March 3, 2013

Freed from Freedom? (Not-This-Pig Exploration)

"Critics like the law professor Cass Sunstein go so far as to describe the fragmenting powers of cable and other technologies, notably the Internet, as a threat to the notion of a free society" (Wu 213).

The discussion on this page of Chapter 16 was somewhat upsetting to me. Sustein's idea of "information cocoons" seems untrue to me. He says that people should "see and hear a wide range of topics and ideas". The internet and cable give people access to all kinds of topics and ideas. The point of freedom is that we are able to choose what ideas we take in and which ones we do not. I do concede that this can in some ways lead to negative outcomes. If a person chooses to watch Spongebob Squarepants and Adventure Time, they will most likely be a less valuable member of society than someone who regularly watches the news. But it is not fair to make them watch the news. I believe that freedom of speech neccessarily comes with the freedom to choose what we see and hear. Freedom of speech also means that we cannot possibly restrict media to say a few cable channels, because they obviously cannot cover every idea and viewpoint. Someone's opinion would be silenced. In addition I found Wu's word choice amusing when he tried to explain Sunstein's point of view. He says, "the concern is that . . . we have been freed to retreat into bubbles of selective information". I think that a major part of America's soul is that there is rarely such a thing as too much freedom. I think most American's would agree with me that Sunstein's logic is faulty.


  1. You really hit the nail on the head with that quote. You did a really good job of using examples to explain our different freedoms and how the Internet would not be a threat to the notion of a free society. The internet is a vast pool of information and although a lot of it is not true, a good bit gives us insight into things that people before our generation never had the opportunity to witness. I couldn't agree more with your idea concerning Sunstein's principles dealing with information.

  2. I agree with you I don't think there can be too much freedom. I do think that cable and internet sites such as google and yahoo can have there own way of controling what people see. The most popular opinions are usually what we see first even if this isn't always clear, kind of like news broadcasts.