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The Internet Technology

America's View of the Internet 285

Posted by Zonk
from the just-a-little-bit-sad dept.
Alien54 writes "It won't make you dinner or rub your feet, but nearly one in four Americans say that the Internet can serve as a substitute for a significant other for some period of time, according to a new poll released today by 463 Communications and Zogby International. The poll examined views of what role the Internet plays in people's lives and whether government should play a greater role in regulating it. The online survey was conducted Oct. 4-8, 2007, included 9,743 adult respondents nationwide, and carries a margin of error of +/- 1.0 percentage point. From the results blog post: 'More than half of Americans believe that Internet content such as video should be controlled in some way by the government. Only 33% of 18 to 24 year-olds supported government stepping in on content, while 72% of those over 70 years of age support government regulation and ratings. More than one in four Americans has a social networking profile such as MySpace or Facebook. Among 18-24 year-olds, it's almost mandatory - 78% of them report having a social networking profile. Americans may love the Internet, but most are not prepared to implant it into their brain, even if it was safe. Only 11% of respondents said they be willing to safely implant a device that enabled them to use their mind to access the Internet.'"
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America's View Of the Internet

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  • by GungaDan (195739) on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:16PM (#21131981) Homepage
    I'm still waiting for the fucking images to load.

  • by gQuigs (913879) on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:18PM (#21132015) Homepage
    I don't like the idea of anyone sticking tubes in my head. Imagine if they overflowed!
  • 11% (Score:4, Funny)

    by RandoX (828285) on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:18PM (#21132027)
    Define "safely".
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      If it was safe for implanting AND safe from hacking, then i'd say sign me up, but i doubt that second part is possible.
  • by Naviztirf (856598) on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:19PM (#21132033)
    Why was implanting a device in your brain to control the internet even a question in this survey? Scarier, %11 said they would?!?!
    • Re:Brain implants? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MBGMorden (803437) on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:30PM (#21132199)
      Depends on what method of control they're talking about. If they mean online games (or pr0n), then a neural interface would be absolutely awesome.

      Especially simulated reality hooked directly into the brain. We know from dreams that the brain can process things quicker where our sense of time passing is not "real time" (ie, a dream that seems to go on for 30 minutes might take place in a MUCH shorter ammount of real time).

      How cool would it be to go on a simulated 2 week vacation to the Bahamas, but only really spend 1 hour running the simulation? Or perhaps it could even be reduced further in time. Why get upset over death when we could live an entire lifetime of extra activites in a single evening (think of that old Star Trek TNG episode where Picard lived an alt life where he was an old man with grandchildren and then upon death reawoke on the bridge, with only 2-3 minutes having passed). Of course, the addiction possibility here would be high. Imagine how much work place productivity would suffer if every time an employee came back to work each morning they've spent a virtual 6-months away in paradise.
      • Re:Brain implants? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by MyNymWasTaken (879908) on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:41PM (#21132349)
        We Can Remember It for You Wholesale
      • by Knara (9377)
        Except that workplace productivity could potentially skyrocket similarly.
      • Re:Brain implants? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by blhack (921171) * on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:51PM (#21132501)
        I wonder if the brain has a usable life though?
        Right now, our brains only last for about 80-100 years.....
        I wonder if there would be any strange side effects from giving it 1000 years worth of experience?

        If we really did accomplish this, imagine how much faster we could progress technologically......allow devs to drop into one of these things and we could have software that would normally take months to build developed in mere minutes!
        • Nonsense. Once the first "sex with Angelina Jolie" and "sex with Brad Pitt" sims came out, the human race would come grinding to a hault.
        • by $1uck (710826)
          I'm guessing that your brain will let you perceive X amount of time in y amount of time (with x > y) but you wouldn't be able to do actively do anything such as code new software or have new thoughts. Would be wonderful for schooling, learning or watching movies, but I doubt you could create anything in such a state. It has to be violating some law of nature... otherwise I'd say plugin and never unplug.
        • by Applekid (993327)

          I wonder if the brain has a usable life though?
          Right now, our brains only last for about 80-100 years.....
          I wonder if there would be any strange side effects from giving it 1000 years worth of experience?

          I'm sub thirty so someone else might be better at this assertion, but, I feel like I was much more productive when I was younger and I think it just has to do with my brain "time-compressing" all the code and projects I've ever done and grouping them together as "when I was young" so now I feel lethargic in comparison, even though I do a lot more AND still have time to dick around on /.

          If we really did accomplish this, imagine how much faster we could progress technologically......allow devs to drop into one of these things and we could have software that would normally take months to build developed in mere minutes!

          Technological singularity without creating AI? Count me in! Less renegade robots that way and I can drop my Old Glory rob

        • by whyde (123448)
          ...I know Judo!
          </KeanoReeves>
      • I dunno, I'd think I could be pretty productive at a job where I only had to put in eight hours every six months, and nothing at work changed during the intervening period.

        Of course, just like every other time- or labor-saving invention, it wouldn't make our lives easier. It would be adapted for business, and no one would be able to keep up in the labor market without putting in six months of work every night. Such is the price of a free market.
      • Total Recall (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sm62704 (957197)
        "Hi, I'm Johnny Cab!"

        If they mean online games (or pr0n), then a neural interface would be absolutely awesome.

        I'd rather have a female R. Jander Panell [wikipedia.org] than a porn implant. "Jandra" wouldn't need a positronic brain, conventional modern robotics (heated and lubricated of course) would do, controlled by a conventional computer like the one you have in front of you.

        As to games, I'd rather have a dedicated building with holographs. You have the advantage of getting a little exersise, too, like with the fuckbot.
        • That's at least two good posts I've seen from you in the last 2 days (not including reading the journal you just mentioned yesterday evening).

          Adding you to my friends list.
      • think of that old Star Trek TNG episode where Picard lived an alt life where he was an old man with grandchildren and then upon death reawoke on the bridge, with only 2-3 minutes having passed

        FYI, that was the movie, Star Trek: Generations. Picard was caught in the Nexus.
      • Re:Brain implants? (Score:5, Informative)

        by eMbry00s (952989) on Friday October 26, 2007 @03:43PM (#21133199)

        We know from dreams that the brain can process things quicker where our sense of time passing is not "real time" (ie, a dream that seems to go on for 30 minutes might take place in a MUCH shorter ammount of real time).
        This is an old belief, but has been proven wrong by doctor Stephen LaBerge at Stanford. How?

        Lucid dreaming is to know that you dream while you dream. In dreams, the eye movements we make are also made with our real eyes. As such, they can be used as a way for dreamers to contact people doing experiments on them. What LaBerge did was to monitor the eye's movements, and instruct a lucid dreamer (lucidity can be trained) to count in his dream, and excecute a certain pattern of movement with his eyes whenever he counted to X (probably ten, can't remember).

        It turns out that dream-time is just as fast as wake-time, and that the feeling of experiencing a year in a period of 30 minutes probably works like it does in movies. A man jumps into bed, the scene fades, you see the morning light come in and the man wakes up. In reality, a few seconds passed, but the movie gave you the illusion of a night passing. Now add to that that dreams affect all your senses (or at least have the ability of doing so).

        Not so strange, eh? (Also, if you want to spend some time experiencing really surreal things, start doing lucid dreaming. It's awesome.)
        • Re:Brain implants? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by MBGMorden (803437) on Friday October 26, 2007 @04:04PM (#21133457)

          Not so strange, eh? (Also, if you want to spend some time experiencing really surreal things, start doing lucid dreaming. It's awesome.)
          Actually (going a little off original subject here), I have become quite adept at lucid dreaming, kinda out of necessity. I suffer from a sleep disorder known as ASP (Awareness during Sleep Paralysis). As you said when people dream their eyes might follow their actions in the dream, but their BODY generally does not. When you run like crazy in a dream your limbs sit there motionless. The reasoning for this is that the brain shuts down most motor functions during deep sleep (to prevent injury). ASP is a disorder that affects some people where you partially wake up. Your eyes open, your brain "kicks back on", and you become full aware of your surroundings, but for whatever reason some part of your dream remains in a dream-like state. The result is that a) you can't move because your brain still has the paralysis effect in place, and b) because it's still dreaming, your brain will start to superimpose a dream over the existing reality.

          Personally during this state before I learned to control it I had episodes where I saw chains holding me down, heard grows coming from the hallway, heard footsteps walking around in the house, felt invisible hands clawing into my stomach, and have seen a zombie like face playing peeka-boo at with me at the foot of my bed. This all looks VERY real, because you can look around the actual room, hear everything that's going on, etc. When the brain needn't render the whole environment it seems to be able to do a great job and rendering "spot detail". Luckily, given that it IS a dream, all rules of lucid dreaming apply, and you can control the environment and keep it non-scary if your are aware of it. It's a nice experience if you know to remain calm and unafraid (if your mind starts drifting you can scare the shit out of yourself if you're not careful, especially if you realize the situation and start thinking "Wouldn't it be really scary if . . . ").

          This is actually a very good candidate for explaining lots of supposedly paranormal phenomenon that has been experienced throughout the ages. Look back at so many of the alien abduction reports, ghost sightings/reports, etc, and then look at how many occur with the person in bed and unable to move. A lot of them have that trait in common.

          Wiki entry on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_paralysis [wikipedia.org]

          • by eMbry00s (952989)
            Yea, I knew about this but it's good info that should definitely be out there (and common knowledge by now). Mod parent (and grand parent ;) up.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:19PM (#21132037)
    I had absolutely no idea that so many people lived in their basements.
    • by Rolgar (556636)
      Newsweek did an online article [newsweek.com] on this just last week, although their explanation was job fulfillment instead of internet usage.
    • by cayenne8 (626475)
      "I had absolutely no idea that so many people lived in their basements."

      Not really...if you mean by SO, a 'long term' commitment, all you need that for is if you want to have and raise kids. Otherwise, you don't really need a significant other. Why be stuck sleeping with only one woman the rest of your life? Get one, enjoy her for awhile, and then trade 'up' for a newer model periodically....and this way, you don't have to give up half you sh*t every few years.

      If you want long term relationships...keep l

  • by bazald (886779) <bazald AT zenipex DOT com> on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:20PM (#21132065) Homepage

    It won't make you dinner or rub your feet, but nearly one in four Americans say that the Internet can serve as a substitute for a significant other for some period of time
    You're all I need, Slashdot.
  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:21PM (#21132071) Journal
    Problem is, it isn't face-to-face communication.

    Sure, you can keep in touch with lots of other people online, but when the (typical) user's entire social interaction is reduced to impassioned debates, downloading pr0n, FPS games, pissing off people on the other side of the planet with sophomoric trolling, and the whole time bullshitting about who you are and what you do in RL?

    Gah - almost makes one fear for Humanity's future.

    /P

    • The article reads better if you play The Who's "Substitute" in the background.
    • Problem is, it isn't face-to-face communication.

      Sure, you can keep in touch with lots of other people online, but when the (typical) user's entire social interaction is reduced to impassioned debates, downloading pr0n, FPS games, pissing off people on the other side of the planet with sophomoric trolling, and the whole time bullshitting about who you are and what you do in RL?


      But people trust your online qualification a lot less. thus you can say your a Nasa engineer but no one believes you. They'll judge
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by disckitty (681847)
      > you can keep in touch with lots of other people online

      I'll admit its best to get to know the people in your neighbourhood, and if you're not doing that, you should. However, in the increasingly globalized world that we live in, where lots of people and families are travelling, its nice for it to not take 3 weeks to 6 months for communication to arrive (via snail mail) nor be hugely expensive (via long distance charges).

      > impassioned debates ... [&] ... pissing off people on the other side of the
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by crabpeople (720852)
      How do you know the people you meet in real life are who they say they are?

      "the whole time bullshitting about who you are and what you do in RL?"

      Clearly your not into the bar scene.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by UserGoogol (623581)
      Yeah, and it isn't communication via passenger pigeon either. What's so special about face to face communication? Face to face communication isn't the pinnacle of interpersonal communication. You can't multitask to much of a degree without the person you are communicating with knowing, which is annoying and a breech of privacy, you are limited to communicating with whatever numbers you can physically be near, it is not possible to easily filter out undesirable communication, and so on.

      Of course, face to fac
  • by UncleTogie (1004853) * on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:22PM (#21132087) Homepage Journal

    More than half of Americans believe that Internet content such as video should be controlled in some way by the government. Only 33% of 18 to 24 year-olds supported government stepping in on content, while 72% of those over 70 years of age support government regulation and ratings.

    Now, ask the same question, but instead substitute "TV programs" for "Internet content". I'll bet you the percentage breakdown doesn't change much.

    This isn't about "internet content", it's about what standards a work of art is judged by.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      It's also purely a matter of how you interpret the question. I'd guess most people who don't think they want the govt. regulating content on the Internet actually do, in one or more of the following cases: copyright and trademark enforcement, libel, child pornography, threats (such as listing a bunch of abortionists with the murdered ones crossed out), spam, intrusions/hacking/data theft.

      Most of those cases are already covered by laws not specific to the Internet, but that's besides the point, because th

    • by xerxesVII (707232)
      That a number as large as 33% of 18 to 24 year-olds should have supported government regulation absolutely infuriates me. Once again, I am reminded of why I will never have kids. I simply don't want to put my offspring out into a population so inscrutably stupid.
  • I'm not to concerned with the margin of error of a poll asking people if they want the internet in their brains. Even if it is safe, what does that even mean? Safe as in security (no one hacking your brain), health (implant doesn't actually damage your brain), or content (Think about a farm and get bombarded with animal sex pictures)?

    More than half of Americans believe that Internet content such as video should be controlled in some way by the government? That can only come from a group of people where

  • by xPsi (851544) * on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:27PM (#21132147)

    Only 11% of respondents said they be willing to safely implant a device that enabled them to use their mind to access the Internet.
    Ahh, 11% may be small for a political poll, but 11% seems HUGE for a question like that considering it is supposed to scale up to the population at large. That would be like the entire state of California and Massachusetts together deciding to get wetware WiFi for every man, woman, and child. I expect the number of people actually willing to do such a thing in the US is much smaller than that. Neil Degrasse Tyson made a similar observation about the statistic that 93% of members of the Academy of Sciences doubt or actively disbelieve in the existence of a personal god [stephenjaygould.org]. The 93% isn't really all that surprising. That makes sense. What is surprising to me is that 7% do.
    • I was surprised by the 11% as well. I wonder how many of that 11% are actually transhumanists and how many simply like the idea of not having to lug around a device.
  • Just yesterday I asked If you have porn do why do you need a ... [slashdot.org]. And today America is going a step above and says, If I have internet I don't need ...

    Thank you, America for a quick reply.

    • by MBGMorden (803437)
      I know you're joking, but porn is only a substitute for the sexual portion of a relationship. As a matter of fact, there are much more ancient (and much more physical) ways of substituting in sex without worrying about a relationship (ie, prostitution - anybody can get laid for a price. Matter of fact when I was a beginning pilot thinking of buying a plane, I was given the comical advice "If it flys, floats, or f*cks, it's cheaper to just rent it.").

      What I think this study is saying, more alarmingly, is t
  • Obligatory link (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann.slashdotNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:29PM (#21132193) Homepage Journal
    OUTSIDE [photobucket.com]
    The new MMORPG from the creators of the smashing hit "IRL" [wikipedia.org]
    FEATURES:
    • no monthly fee!
    • massive world to explore
    • incredible NPC AI
    • over 56,400 character archetypes
    • fully PvP
    • highest resolution graphics

    Get Outside NOW!!!
  • It won't make you dinner or rub your feet ...

    That's okay, neither does my wife. *Rimshot*

    (Actually, she does and she would. I'm a lucky guy.)

  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:32PM (#21132223)
    50%+ want the internet regulated?

    Let me guess.. "for the children"?
    I mean it has to be, otherwise they would be condoning censorship of political speech or complete corporate takeover of the internet.

    I want to know what happened to parents actually, you know, parenting?!

    apparently that only happens in my family.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by fredklein (532096)
      Why is it always the OLD folks who want to do stuff 'for the children'? Is alzheimer's that severe in our aging population that they have totally forgotten what it's like to be a child?
    • You know, as I start getting older I start to understand what the old people are thinking. For instance, a long time ago I saw a video of a guy caught in a house fire pacing up and down the sidewalk with smoke still coming up from what was left of his smouldering hair and strips of flesh hanging from his arms like a poorly wrapped mummy. The rescue workers were constantly yelling at him to keep standing so they could get the sanitary tarp out because all he could do say is he wanted to lie down and to mak
  • by kabocox (199019) on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:32PM (#21132237)
    Why is the always the old guys that are about to die off that enact or get crap passed so that all the rest of us living have to do what they want! If anything, I'd like the vote to be removed from those that retire or above 70 as they are too old and out of date to make decisions for the future. Heck, those under 12 are more likely to make valid decisions for the future since they'll have to live in it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Respect to the views and opinion of the old people was a good survival strategy. Back in the hunter gatherer days, these people were the storehouse of knowledge. They remember which roots and berries the tribe survived during the last famine etc. So even if they were not pulling their weight in the hunts, others gave them a cut of the leg of the zebra or a woolly mastodon. But now a days, now that we have the internet to serve as the storehouse of knowledge (and much more), yeah, we really need to think wha
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Itchyeyes (908311)
      Have you talked to a 12 year old recently? I barely trust them enough to mow my lawn. The thing is, the reason that the old people pass all the laws is because they are the ones who turn up to vote. If more young people would show up at the polls they would be better represented in our government. The very fact that they don't show up seems to me as evidence that they are in fact less capable of making those decisions.
      • Or that there is nobody actually representing them.

        For instance, I have yet to meet a person 14-28 who does not download material off the internet.
        It's functionally no different than taping tv or recording off the radio, and yet there is no party supporting legalization.

        There is also no party supporting dmca reform, or dedicating a small fraction of military spending toward the many viable options for clean sustainable energy, or even possibly reqiurements for ecological responsibility (why does a 3x1x0.25
        • by Itchyeyes (908311)
          "Or that there is nobody actually representing them."

          It's a "chicken and the egg" issue. Do politicians not represent young people because young people don't vote, or do young people not vote because politicians don't represent them? There's no way to know for sure which it is. However, that also means that if more young people voted politicians would represent them better and if politicians would represent them better more young people would vote.

          The thing is, why leave it up to the politicians to take
    • by Vellmont (569020)

      Why is the always the old guys that are about to die off that enact or get crap passed so that all the rest of us living have to do what they want!

      The world changes rather quickly today, and by the time you're past 70, it's so different that some people want part of the world they grew up in back. The world of the 1950s and 60s was a lot more conservative towards sex than it is today.

      While I agree with you that these people are out of touch on this issue, and just want to harken back to some kind of golden
    • by msimm (580077)
      I wonder sometimes why it is that we (and by we I mean myself) don't value age or wisdom. I don't mean that like a hippie or anything. In our culture I wonder if the strongest and the smartest still survive the longest. I wonder what it is in value that we lack (as society, as elderly). When I look at old people I wonder what I'll be like when I get there. Is our culture juvenile or are our elderly simply uninterested in participation? There is something to be said for the value of lessons which really are
    • Who the hell modded this crap insightful

      I'm all for a very low age of consent, say 14. Basically at 14 you're an adult and can do as you please, likewise everybody else treats you as an adult, no separate ages for voting, sex, alcohol etc.

      It would stop a lot of the teenage problems if at 14 they had to fend for themselves. This extended childhood so prevalent in the US is giving us children aged twenty five who are unable to function on their own.

      As for 12 year olds deciding policy, go and read Lord of th
    • It's simple really. They vote.
  • Brain Hacking (Score:2, Interesting)

    by halbert (714394)
    I can't wait for brain hacking. Imagine the possibilities! It could give a whole new meaning to zombies. "Need more brains to hack..."
  • old people (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lordvalrole (886029)
    Old people over 70 should not get a voice on just about anything dealing with technology (not at this present time at least). There always is a gap in thinking between young people and old people in most things (especially technology). Older people have a harder time to grasp concepts of all sorts. Show a 70+ year old person programming, or how to make a website, or make something in 3d and they will just look at you funny. Show a 12 year old the same things and they are intrigued. We are also talking
  • TELEDILDONICS

    next survey: 110% of americans say the internet replaces their significant other

    and i'm sure we can build a foot massaging internet enabled appliance or microwave-refrigerator internet protocol for the dinners if you really think you still need FOOD when you've got the INTERTUBES man!
  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:41PM (#21132363) Homepage Journal
    I'm not so sure about the Internet being a reasonable substitute for a significant other. Every time I open my email, the Internet tells me that my penis is too small.
  • It's very interesting that only 36% think government regulation of video over the internet into someones private home would be unconstitutional. (But I bet you'd get a VERY different answer about print media).

    For the most part, people are willing to accept what they've always accepted and expect what they've always expected. Broadcast television is regulated.. so therefore the government must have some way of regulating moving pictures.

    Of course, this is not the case, and I'd be very surprised if it was
    • by QCompson (675963)

      Of course, this is not the case, and I'd be very surprised if it was legal for the US government to regulate anything short of child porn or snuff videos coming across the internet.

      So far, the only thing stopping Congress from regulating the crap out of the internet (often using kiddie pr0n as an excuse/stepping-stone) has been the Supreme Court. Things might be different now that the Roberts court is in full swing. Of course, you'd think that true "conservative" justices would be more apt to strike dow

  • WTF?? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sm62704 (957197) on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:42PM (#21132381) Journal
    It won't make you dinner or rub your feet
    Neither would my ex-wife.

    ...nearly one in four Americans say that the Internet can serve as a substitute for a significant other for some period of time
    Well, the internet and Rosie Palm.

    More than half of Americans believe that Internet content such as video should be controlled in some way by the government.
    Well, I'll agree that government should have web sites and portals. They should control their own sites, as I control my own site. So yeah, that's reasonable (depending on how the question was phrased).

    Only 33% of 18 to 24 year-olds supported government stepping in on content
    Which supports my previous observation, although again they should control their OWN content

    while 72% of those over 70 years of age support government regulation and ratings.
    That's not unreasonable, either. My dad doesn't even have a computer, has never been on the internet, and considering that, it would not be unreasonable of him to think it reasonable. Even a lot of younger people think the internet is like a TV set, and even the twentysomethings forget that most of the internet is beyond their government's reach.

    More than one in four Americans has a social networking profile such as MySpace or Facebook.

    Hell, I have a myspace page (that I haven't logged into in a year or two), a web site (that I haven't updated oin almost two years), a K5 account (that I haven't logged into for over 2 years), and a slashdot account and I'm 55. But I don't look my age. Or act it.

    Americans may love the Internet, but most are not prepared to implant it into their brain, even if it was safe. Only 11% of respondents said they be willing to safely implant a device that enabled them to use their mind to access the Internet.

    Only a total complete idiotic fuckwit moron would have ANYTHING implanted in their brain without an overriding medical reason. If you would have an internet connection implanted in your brain, WTF ARE YOU THINKING? Go ahead, dumbass, and when I crack your connection I'll control you like a meatware robot.

    Holy fuck! If brains were dynamite, most people wouldn't have enough to blow their noses.

    Note that a far higher percentage than 11% are mentally handicapped. Even retarded people have more sense than that!

    -mcgrew

  • by drDugan (219551) on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:43PM (#21132393) Homepage

    I read stories like this and have to, with a wry grin, shake my head and roll my eyes.

    The idea that groups determine with a democratic vote how a society functions is both absurd and an essential part of the American dream. By dream I mean just that - a mythical non-reality created to give hope to people who otherwise would not accept the reality they have.

    Repeat after me:
    America is not a democracy!
    America is not a democracy!
    America is not a democracy!

    America is a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC. Learn the difference. This means the country has laws first (a Constitution), and the US has a democratic process to elect the people respnsible for upholding and execting the rules of the republic. At no time, and in no way were the opinions of the masses asked for, expected, or accepted in figuring out how the system works - and with good reason: their beliefs were/are easily swayed, grossly under-informed, and as anyone who has tried to decide anything by committee or group: group opinion taking is non-functional.

    However, most American dwell in the dream that things in the US are "democratic" - that the way a group, the world, the Internet, or the USA "should" function is that we ask everyone, take a vote, and the highest count wins. Bzzzzt. WRONG. Bad Idea. I see this mentality driving the idea that Zogby should do some poll of the population for what "the people" think the government should do about Internet content. This mentality is extremely wrong, and will get people into a lot of trouble. In America, the answer you get from the masses is directly proportional to what rich, powerful white men craft as messages for the masses to believe.

    Strangly, increased capacity for communication will and has made such polling much easier than ever before. It does not make it more valid or more useful in creating policy or a smoothly functioning, successful society.

    Aside from the bonehead mentality that we should all vote to determine policy - there is an even simpler issue here. Once one understands how and why this country was formed, and the principles behind it - it becomes obvious that regulating content on huge ditributed computer networks is NOT EVEN CLOSE, not even in the ballpark to what the original intention of the US government was. It is off beyond the outfield, over the green monter, and somewhere off in the bay. It is, in fact, criminal, by all definitions of the term, to distort the function of government so far outside the legal bounds of it's creation.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by d34thm0nk3y (653414)
      Repeat after me: America is not a democracy!

      Main Entry: (from Merriam Webster)
      democracy Listen to the pronunciation of democracy
      Pronunciation:
      \di-mä-kr-s\
      Function:
      noun
      Inflected Form(s):
      plural democracies
      Etymology:
      Middle French democratie, from Late Latin democratia, from Greek dmokratia, from dmos + -kratia -cracy
      Date:
      1576

      1 a: government by the people; especially : rule of the majority b: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exer
  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:45PM (#21132417)
    I am always dismayed, not surprised mind you but dismayed, at the willingness of my fellow American citizens to willingly surrender ever greater powers of control and surveillance even without any clear idea of what is presumably gained by giving up those rights and powers. There are already too many laws, and too much government power, and too much government control and yet people want to give up even more of their independence to the government. The problem is exacerbated, IMHO, by the busy body nature of the religious right, liberal tax and spend left, and generally older people who want the government to run their lives for them and for their neighbor (regardless of what their neighbor wants).
  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:45PM (#21132419) Homepage Journal

    In the 1800's the family dined at the dinner table.

    In the 1940's the family dined around the radio.

    In the 1960's the family dined around the television.

    In the 2000's the family dines around the computer monitor.

    • by petrus4 (213815)

      In the 1800's the family dined at the dinner table.

      In the 1940's the family dined around the radio.

      In the 1960's the family dined around the television.

      In the 2000's, single members of the family eat dinner in front of individual computer monitors in seperate rooms, and communicate via MSN. Either that, or the family doesn't exist at all, and the individual simply eats in front of the computer alone.
    • by necro2607 (771790)
      In the 2030's the family dines in cyberspace. :)
  • Umm...online poll? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sully_51 (1180181) on Friday October 26, 2007 @02:47PM (#21132431)

    one in four Americans say that the Internet can serve as a substitute for a significant other for some period of time, according to a new poll released today by 463 Communications and Zogby International. The poll examined views of what role the Internet plays in people's lives and whether government should play a greater role in regulating it. The online survey was conducted Oct. 4-8, 2007, included 9,743 adult respondents nationwide
    Am I the only one who questions the accuracy of an online survey that indicates this?
    • In other news, a recent survey taken by patrons of a library said that 55% of people think that libraries can take the role of a significant other.
  • More than half of Americans believe that Internet content such as video should be controlled in some way by the government.

    This is frightening. Thank god they would have little success in this goal and the only result of regulation would be killing the United States ability to profit from video. As the freezing effect of these regulations took hold more and more foreign companies would find their user shares boosted.

    Unless the US were to put in to place a Chinese style firewall they'd have little luck in
  • Americans may love the Internet, but most are not prepared to implant it into their brain, even if it was safe. Only 11% of respondents said they be willing to safely implant a device that enabled them to use their mind to access the Internet.

    Hmm... this made me think. Let's make some suppositions, shall we? So, suppose:

    a) You have one of these implants.
    b) You are able to install anything you want on it, such as a torrent client;
    c) These devices are so advanced that they preemptively start downloading anyth

  • Lucky (Score:4, Funny)

    by jez9999 (618189) on Friday October 26, 2007 @03:36PM (#21133087) Homepage Journal
    Only 11% of respondents said they be willing to safely implant a device that enabled them to use their mind to access the Internet.

    Fortunately, this happens to match the exact % of the population whose IQ would be improved by having the Internet implanted in their brains.
  • Biased "survey" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by D H NG (779318) on Friday October 26, 2007 @03:54PM (#21133317)

    The online survey was conducted Oct. 4-8, 2007, included 9,743 adult respondents nationwide
    In other words, a quarter of people already online say that the Internet can serve as a substitute for a significant other for some period of time. Gee, what a surprise.
  • I'd love to know what percentage of those people who say the government should censor Internet content are among the percentage who don't use the Internet. Or those who use the Internet only because someone, like their boss (or significant other) makes them use it (though that question probably wasn't asked).

    I'd also like to know how many of the pro-censor people believe the government should censor printed matter. And then I'd like to ignore all those people, but preferably the much narrower fraction who c

What this country needs is a good five cent microcomputer.

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