This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

Connection crash

This week on our Karr on Culture podcast: How is the Internet changing the way politics work?

Has the Internet made our country ungovernable? Need to Know’s culture correspondent Rick Karr talks to John Perry Barlow, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and former Grateful Dead lyricist, about a speech he recently gave at the Personal Democracy Forum regarding the political consequences of our increasingly fragmented and data-rich culture. For Barlow, our political system is in the throes of a “connection crash” – or information overload – which has made the nation-state model effectively obsolete. Yet despite the havoc it has wrought on our political system, Barlow remains cautiously optimistic about the Internet’s capacity to empower citizens and bring about positive social change.



  • Lindy S

    Interesting thought to ponder. My initial response is that I do not see the transission in this way. What I thought in the 80′s was that with globalization the existing nation state roles would bump down a level. The network becomes larger and more cohesive. The ongoing lessons in the laboratory of globalized industry will be the wave ridden upon, much like the Mass Bay Colony with it’s corporate expansion. But once the pavement has been latex the poleis will get restless and the societal structure will morphology. The city will offer community comforts with the state being more like county and regions, like the 5 in the US will assimilate states and so forth. We will adjust as we accept the present in which we find ourselves is the future in which we were ‘destined’ to land.

  • Lindy S

    Ugh…Cellphone spell check software. ..laytex = laid. .. morphology = morph … computers. …Ugh…

  • Wow

    I refuse to believe that the legacy of Westphalia will be wiped away that. There is a difference between wise assessment and reactionary craziness.

  • Bob MacD.

    Online casinos may have more to offer.