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The promise of the early Internet versus established-thought and an establishment's imposed point of view.

Original research and its Enemies

Query: which word does not belong with the others? (a) look (b) watch (c) listen (d) observe (e) see.

How to foster conformity, unoriginal, uncritical thinking, acceptance of the established order, acceptance of "what all right thinking people think", in a word wikipedia.org. Answer: (b) 'watch', because the word 'watch' is sometimes the common name of a class of objects (as e.g. wrist watch, pocket watch), which the other words are not.

[Categories of Meaning {Classification} | "Does Bertrand Russell resemble Socrates?" (The logic of comparison)]

Some people connect to the Internet so that they can read the New York Times, "the paper of record", official voice of the established order, and to read wikipedia.org which in its own sphere is the equivalent of the New York Times. But other people connect to the Internet so that they won't have to read the Times and its equivalent.

The early Internet was out of the control of the established thought-masters because it was the work of often obscure individuals sharing their own research about whichever subject interested them. But in later years that original research has been deprecated in favor of the anonymous board of censors of wikipedia.org that has regained control for the established thought-masters as the voice of knowledge -- "no original research". But M. O'C. Drury wrote that research is more about re-thinking the meaning of the already "conceived facts" than about uncovering new ones; it is about a new point of view and conceptual revision.

Unbiasedness is only possible where bias is impossible. E.g. the proposition '12 inches = 1 foot' is neither biased nor unbiased. Question: is 'bias' an absolute or a relative (i.e. relational) concept? Is it like 'large' and 'small'?

The search engines now treat the articles of wikipedia.org as authoritative and place them at the top of search queries; wikipedia.org is now the Internet's "MSM", i.e. the single stream which serves as the voice of the rulers of the Western World, which the search engines are the servants of. Soon for most people the Internet will be wikipedia.org and its news-site equivalents. In other words, the Internet will go from being a liberator of thought, of many points of view, to a monocular prison -- as in Zamyatin's book, "I" will be replaced by "We" --

-- unless its users support independent, original, critical thinking and research, which was the early promise of the Internet, by seeking it out, where it still exists, on the Internet rather than letting the established search engines lead you to what all "right thinking", "ideologically sound", people think".

Three things, and in this order, killed the promise of the old, the original Internet:
1. Broadband (Commercial monetization, merging television entertainment with the Internet, aiming low and hitting its target)
2. Google (Rankings based on authority measured by popularity and establishment (.edu) rather than on strict relevance. A[rtificial] I[gnorance]: algorithms that do not understand the language they process, being able to do no more that match words, phrases and their possible synonyms. Adsense, fostering Web sites created to run advertising. Censorship, either by delisting or deranking pages based on their content. The "algorithm", which seems to me to be not only google.com's algorithm but the "algorithm" of the whole emerging (or maybe now emerged) Internet, as wherever google.com's "algorithm" goes, the Internet seems to follow.)
3. wikipedia.org (See above, a "walled garden" for the intellect)

Note: if you have a school exam, the answer the school demands is (c), because listening is done with the ears while the others are done with the eyes "if you have a mind to" (Antisthenes). The question seems to be about things named, not their names, but if it were about words, an answer could be: (a) 'look', because the word 'look' rhymes with the word 'book', which the other words do not. The possible answers are limited only by imagination.

"You're a mathematician. What did Descartes say? Question everything." But what did that mean "everything"? -- surely not everything. (Gulag Archipelago i)


The URL of this page (Original research and its enemies): https://www.roangelo.net/original-research.html

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