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Web Letters | The Nation

An Accelerated Grimace: On Cyber-Utopianism

Conservative claptrap

I was flabbergasted with Chris Lehman's article on Clay Shirky. To knock Shirky down, he resorts to conservative shibboleths that are strange to read in The Nation. As for standards: Wikipedia has generally maintained its superiority as an online encyclopedia. Certainly, it is not easy to hide or plagiarize in the digital environment. Wikileaks created a cascade of political fallout that created the spark—that ousted two dictators and changed the course of politics in the Middle East. Lehman writes about “the cost in human lives.” That was the justification that politicians both Democratic and Republican used to justify calls for Assange’s head. All of the secrets and lies that we have had to bear, under Bush and now Obama, justify the status quo, in Lehman's view. I do not believe that and I hope that most readers of The Nation do not. I think Lehman should head over to National Review. The Internet has democratized institutions.

Frank Shifreen

New York, NY

Mar 9 2011 - 12:11pm