I have a different view point and opinion than most college students in regards to this topic. The reason, I am severely behind technology and I am nearly computer illiterate. This might be due to the fact that I am close to my mid-twenties and just missed the wave where schools have classes which teach computer use. Thus, I don’t really keep up-to-date on the latest news on the business of media, nor do I search the web very often. And that is why my opinions carry far less conviction than most.
After reading the four pieces, my opinions are very similar to Caterina Fake. I disagree most with Lanier and Peterson. I believe they are both slightly cynical, with Peterson on the verge of paranoia. Here is a short summary of Lanier and Peterson:
Lanier, who is sometimes called “the father of Virtual Reality technology”, says “if you want to foster creativity and excellence, you have to introduce some boundaries.” He also talks about “Digital collectivism.” And goes further in depth with, “There’s a dominant dogma in the online culture of the moment that collectives make the best stuff, but it hasn’t proven to be true. The most sophisticated, influential and lucrative examples of computer code—like the page-rank algorithms in the top search engines or Adobe’s Flash— always turn out to be the results of proprietary development.”
I disagree with Lanier, because I believe the internet is better as a whole, with collective though than with just a “proprietary development.” The best example is Wikipedia. It is a website of collective thought. It is more accurate than The Encyclopedia (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4530930.stm ).
Peterson’s believes can be summarized: “Google’s appropriation of all the free labor that is stored in Usenet postings and discussions is an example of how a distributed network of participation turns into a closed architecture of exploitation.”
Even though most who add content to YouTube or any other websites are not getting paid, I believe they are not being exploited. People who use these websites are still getting services which make life more enjoyable. I will use YouTube as an example. Most who contribute to this site are doing it pro bono, but it’s still a chance for one’s voice to be heard. People love to voice their opinion on various subjects, before the internet, the best way to do that is to stand atop a soapbox and yell, hoping some will listen. Now, because of the internet and various websites, people can express how they feel in the comfort of their own homes. This is the number one reason why I believe the internet is perfect the way it is, even if some believe it is “exploitive.” Here is Fake’s opinion “to the claim that people who give content are being exploited, people do things for reasons other than bolstering their egos and making money. You shouldn’t need a motivation or justification to correct spelling or factual errors on Wikipedia — a certain desire for orderliness, good grammar, or truth should be sufficient.” And “…no one is claiming Wikipedia’s entries are better written than those of Charles Lamb or Edmund Gosse in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica. But really, who cares?”