Two perspectives

Everything is fun, until one’s expectations are crushed. I thought I was getting the convenience of online shopping for things that were previously literally unavailable; Instead, the local stores closed and I’ve lost the convenience of local purchasing. I thought I was getting expanded communication via email; Instead, I’ve been overrun by people taking advantage of the ease of access. In 1989 I was excited by what we could all do with the Internet. So excited, that in 1994 I quit a funded research position and dropped out of graduate school.

Today’s internet is largely shaped by a dialog between two ideas. One position considers personal data as a form of property, the opposing position considers personal data as an extension of the self. The latter grants inalienable rights because a person’s dignity – traditionally manifested in our bodies or certain rights of expression and privacy – cannot be negotiated, bought, or sold.

~ David Schmudde from,


There’s nothing wrong with the Internet. There’s nothing wrong with people. There’s nothing wrong with government. The problem is in everyone’s failure to think things through. “Can” and “should” are very different animals. Until a plurality of people think things through—until a plurality of people stop delivering themselves into the power of ideas they do not know they have accepted—there will be nothing new under the sun.