Society needs a multiplicity of spaces, of micro-cultures with their own practices and norms. Why do so many tech platforms pretend that a truly neutral stance is possible or even right? What about exploring the benefits of a deliberately non-neutral approach?
"In contrast, as a post-communist subject, I cannot but see Internet as a communal apartment of Stalin era: no privacy, everybody spies on everybody else, always present line for common areas such as the toilet or the kitchen. Or I can think of it as a giant garbage site for the information society, with everybody dumping their used products of intellectual labor and nobody cleaning up. "
Is not the internet like a huge city? The obvious analogy here would be to the ways that “closed garden” platforms like Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter have severely delimited the psychogeography of the internet. Are our daily routines not as pathetic, if not moreso, than those of Debord’s Parisian student? We log on to the same two or three websites, we scroll down, and in the same light blue columns we watch the world pass us by in a confined and monotonous procession. Where is the wonder, the exploration? The internet is larger than any one metropolis, but browsing it today feels like walking down a narrow circular hallway. It is high time we develop a dérive for the internet.
Put into practice, this is what happened during the “enclosures” of the eighteenth century, a process the historian James Boyle summarizes as the “conversion into private property of something that had formerly been common property.” The commons was privatized in response to its overuse. The tragedy of the commons is therefore often used as a justification for private property rights.