As the Internet burgeoned and blossomed through the early to mid-nineties, visionary manifestos about its transformative social, political, and economic potential clogged VAX accounts the world over. After a solid decade of intense commercial development, much go-go nineties prophesying now seems a triumph of Utopian hope over hard reality. Does hope of Internet liberation yet remain? Or has the bright promise of the Internet been dimmed by corporate influence and government regulation? Are ideas like virtual citizenship beyond the nation-state, untraceable electronic currency, and the consciousness expanding powers of radical interconnectivity defunct? Is there untapped revolutionary power waiting to be unleashed?
Virtual reality visionary Jaron Lanier will kick off the discussion with a mind-bending lead essay. Commentators John Perry Barlow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, open source software guru Eric S. Raymond, Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds, and Yale computer scientist David Gelernter will grapple with Lanier’s vision, and offer their own wisdom on what the Internet still has to offer for the future of freedom.
Should be fun! Tell your friends.