Hyperpolitics


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Selecting websites out of thousands proliferating every day in cyberspace inevitably implies many arbitrary omissions and many mistakes. Beyond that, this virtual library is also a moving frontier, with present sites evolving, new collections and new sites continually appearing, old access barriers collapsing, and usability easing and expanding.

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But keeping abreast of these developments requires constant supervision, a task we cannot possibly fulfill without your advice and help. It is a new journey into knowledge. Per tredici anni, ogni settimana, il privilegio di una finestra per dialogare con la politica. Ho lavorato con tre Direttori: Tre stagioni, e tre visioni, del giornalismo italiano.

La transizione italiana, le Torri, la Cindia che ri-orienta il globo osservate con le lenti del politologo. Ma i pesi e le misure li ho presi a prestito dai miei lettori. Download Agenda Mauro Calise Via Email All fields are required. Send me a copy Cancel. Request Permissions View permissions information for this article.

American Institutions at Cornell University, tjl7 cornell. Lowi American Institutions at Cornell University, tjl7 cornell. Keywords Hyperpolitics model , Hypertext , Political concepts , Political science dictionaries.

Hyperpolitics: Hypertext, Concepts and Theory-Making

Remember me Forgotten your password? Subscribe to this journal. Vol 21, Issue 3, Paradoxically, Wikipedia is not at all democratic, nor is it actually transparent, though it gives the appearance of both. Investigations conducted by The Register in the UK and other media outlets have shown that the "encyclopedia anyone can edit" is, in fact, tightly regulated by a close network of hyperconnected peers, the "Wikipedians.

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Peer-review, although portrayed today as a conservative force, initially acted as a radical intellectual accelerant, a mental hormone which again amplified the engines of human culture, leading directly to the Industrial Age. We are built to observe and reproduce the behaviors of our parents, our mentors and our peers. Those who attempt to counter the fixed opinion of any network of Wikipedians encounter a buzz-saw of defiance, and, almost invariably, withdraw in defeat. Tre stagioni, e tre visioni, del giornalismo italiano. Just as the steam engine initiated the transformation of the natural landscape into man-made artifice, the 'hyperconnectivity' engendered by these new toys is transforming the human landscape of social relations. These newly disproportionate returns on the investment in altruism now trump the 'virtue of selfishness. It is the whole of the thing.

This premise is borne out by the unpleasant fact that article submissions to Wikipedia are being rejected at an ever-increasing rate. Wikipedia's growth has slowed, and may someday grind to a halt, not because it has somehow encompassed the totality of human knowledge, but because it is the front line of a new kind of warfare, a battle both semantic and civilizational.

In this battle, we can see the tracings of hyperpolitics, the politics of era of hyperconnectivity.

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To outsiders like myself, who critique their increasingly draconian behavior, Wikipedians have a simple response: Hyperconnected, the Wikipedians create "sock puppet" personae to argue their points on discussion pages, using back-channel, non-transparent communications with other Wikipedians to amass the support both numerically and rhetorically to enforce their dictates. Those who attempt to counter the fixed opinion of any network of Wikipedians encounter a buzz-saw of defiance, and, almost invariably, withdraw in defeat.

Now that this 'Great Game' has been exposed, hypermimesis comes into play. The next time an individual or community gets knocked back, they have an option: This will probably engender even more conservative reaction from the Wikipedians, until, in fairly short order, the most vital center of human knowledge creation in the history of our species becomes entirely fossilized. Or, just possibly, Wikipedians will bow to the inevitable, embrace the chaos, and find a way to make it work.

That choice, writ large, is the same that confronts us in every aspect of our lives. The entire human social sphere faces the increasing pressures of hyperconnectivity, which arrive hand-in-hand with an increasing empowerment 'hyperempowerment' by means of hypermimesis. All of our mass social institutions, developed at the start of the Liberal era, are backed up against the same buzz saw. Politics, as the most encompassing of our mass institutions, now balances on a knife edge between a past which no longer works and a future of chaos.

Last Monday, as I waited at San Francisco International for a flight to Logan, I used my mobile to snap some photos of the status board cheerfully informing me of my delayed departure , which I immediately uploaded to Flickr.

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As I waited at the gate, I engaged in a playful banter with two women d'un certain age, that clever sort of casual conversation one has with fellow travelers. After we boarded the flight, one of the women approached me. And you were making her nervous when you took those photos. Now here's the thing: I wanted to share the frustrations of my journey with my many friends, both in Australia and America, who track my comings and goings on Twitter, Flickr and Facebook.

Sharing makes the unpleasant endurable. In that moment of confrontation, I found myself thrust into a realization that had been building over the last four years: Sharing is the threat. A photo snapped on my mobile becomes instantaneously and pervasively visible. No wonder she's nervous: We are asked to believe that hyperconnectivity can be embraced by political campaigns, and by politicians in power. We are asked to believe that everything we already know to be true about the accelerating disintegration of hierarchies of all kinds—economic, academic, cultural—will somehow magically suspend itself for the political process.

That, somehow, politics will be different. Ladies and gentlemen, don't believe a word of it. It's whistling past the graveyard. It's clapping for Tinkerbelle. Obama may be the best thing since sliced bread, but this isn't a crisis of leadership. This is not an emergency.

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And my amateur photography did not bring down the curtain on the Republic. For the first time, we have a political campaign embracing hyperconnectivity. As is always the case with political campaigns, it is a means to an end. The Obama campaign has built a nationwide social network using lovely, old-fashioned, human techniques , then activated it to compete in the primaries, dominate in the caucuses, and secure the Democratic nomination. That network is being activated again to win the general election. Three months ago, I put this question directly to an Obama field organizer. He paused, as if he'd never given the question any thought, before answering, "I don't know.

I don't believe anyone's thought that far ahead. They are, of course, noble sentiments. They matter not at all.

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The mob, now mobilized, will do as it pleases. Obama can lead by example, can encourage or scold as occasion warrants, but he can not control. Not with all the King's horses and all the King's men. Fasten your seatbelts and prepare for a rapid descent into the Bellum omnia contra omnes, Thomas Hobbes' "war of all against all.

Hyperpolitics

Conserved across nearly four thousand generations, the social fabric will warp and convulse as various polities actualize their hyperempowerment in the cultural equivalent of nuclear exchanges. Eventually one hopes, with hypermimesis, rather quickly we will learn to contain these most explosive forces. We will learn that even though we can push the button, we're far better off refraining. At that point, as in the era of superpower Realpolitik, the action will shift to a few tens of thousands of 'little' conflicts, the hyperconnected equivalents of the endless civil wars which plagued Asia, Africa and Latin America during the Cold War.