In Politics, Life, Survival, Communication, Technology, Happiness, Individuality vs Collectivism by Jackie Danicki

I’m really sick and tired of the conservative stasists around me, both online and off. These people are dangerous and, yes, evil. Some things really are that simple. William Davies of the Institute for Public Policy Research is a good example of one such person who really should not be humoured or indulged. He’s interviewed here by the Guardian. Some choice quotations from Davies:

“What I propose is that we give serious thought to institutions that might act as checks on our ever expanding, ever accelerating connectivity, or that can impose what one might call etiquettes as to how we use them. The idea that one has an inalienable right always to be “on” – online, everywhere and all the time -is neither justifiable neither on an economic level nor, I would maintain, on an ethical or a cultural level.”


“I think these are technologies, among other technologies flooding our society at the moment, that enforce a quite radical individualisation. I’m no killjoy. I enjoy and employ many of those technologies myself. But what I do believe to be necessary is that we recognise that part and parcel of modernisation is to put checks on that modernisation. And that we should give weight to the forms of conservatism that say: ‘This is all the technology we want.’”

Davies is the kind of person who starts sentences with “As a society, we should…” That is to say, a dangerous, conservative, stasist sort of person who wants to decide by committee how free you and I should be to get on with our own damn lives however we please. Joe at the always excellent Techdirt writes:

What Davies (and many others) fail to acknowledge is that broad technological changes are the result of millions of individuals making choices. Everyone who owns a cell phone had to weigh the pros and cons of buying one, and each person decided that they would be better off with one. The idea that an enlightened board can decide what is best for everyone ignores the fact that we’re all individuals.

That is viewed, no doubt, as an unfortunate fact of life by the likes of Davies.