reply to post by getreadyalready
The dramatic effects of the internet on our world are
apparent in every facet of the developed society.
I readily concede that the internet has already
resulted in a dramatic change to our society
Sounds to me like my opponent has conceded the debate, specifically acknowledged the "dramatic" component (twice), and since he acknowledges that
the internet does
have these effects on society, obviously he agrees that it's a viable medium.
In any scored debate, I would simply accept my opponents concessions and conclude. However. the event moderator has advised me to proceed with
arguments anyway. I don't really understand how my opponent can state the above, and then immediately turn around and claim that he's going to focus
his arguments on proving otherwise. Unfortunately this probably means that the next three rounds are mostly going to consist of backpedaling and
repetition of already resolved points.
I'll do what I can to at least keep it lively and entertaining.
That the internet is a viable medium for effecting change is extremely obvious. For example: this debate exists. You are reading this post right now,
and you are reading it online. If it were not for the internet, that would not be happening. Very obviously, even right now as you read these
, your physical reality is being changed by participation in this discussion taking place through the medium of the internet: you're sitting
in a chair looking at a computer screen instead of doing something else.
But is that "dramatic?" What you're doing is changed, but not hugely so. You could easily be watching a debate in person at your local college
instead of reading it online. So, let's examine dramatic:
1. Of or relating to drama or the theater.
2. Characterized by or expressive of the action or emotion associated with drama
3. Arresting or forceful in appearance or effect
The meanings relevant to our discussion are 2 and 3, but all three can be demonstrated. If you really want to see theatrical drama transmitted over
the internet, you need go no further than youtube. Or if you prefer to see "change in the physical world relevant to theater," you can check out any
of the various MPAA piracy
contending that dissemination of movies online is having an impact on their industry. If it is, that would be effected change. If it
isn't, people in real life are being sued over what they do online. Either way, it's real world change, it's dramatic, it relates to theater in the
form of movies, and it's all a result of things transmitted over the medium of the internet. This alone demonstrates viabiity on all three counts.
However, I think the spirit of the debate is more about definitions 2 and 3, so let's focus our examples on those.
If you want your dramatic in the form of action and emotion, we can start our tour with Project
. Basically, a couple people on 4chan decided to "troll" the Church of Scientology, and this led to years
of very much
physical, "in real life" protests and marches against them, as well as millions of people
being made aware of Scientology via youtube videos.
How did they make this happen? Simple: they announced and organized it all on an online image board. An online medium was used to organize the biggest
thorn in the side that has ever existed in the history of the church.
Next on our tour of "action and emotion," let's look at what happened when somebody posted a hoax on Oprah's online message board in the
over 9000 penises incident
. For those who don't recognize the reference, "over 9000" is an
internet meme spawned by a totally innocent and unrelated comment in a piece of 1990's animation. Basically it was an in-joke, and what happened here
is that somebody posted something online
and that post resulted in the world's richest woman announcing on national television to millions of
viewers that there was an organized nationwide pedophile network, when no such organization exists. That may be distateful, but it's awfully
If you want "dramatic" in the form of very real and personal experience of people across the world, simply think of how many grannies out there got
to see their grandchildren for the first time via a picture sent through email. Think about how many soldiers at war are able to stay in contact with
their wives through the internet. Think about how many people have met and get married to people they met online. Think of the 11 million people whose
daily lives are ruled by how much they play World of Warcraft.
If you want your "dramatic" in the form of billions of dollars, then check out the various Forbes lists of most powerful and influential companies
in the entire world:
17th highest market value in the world
: 101st highest market value in the world
: 217th highest market value in the world
These are internet companies. What goes on online has the power to make or break companies with more wealth and power than most small countries. Since
the "physical" aspect of this topic has been brought into question, let me reiterate that: the internet is used as a medium for activities that have
resulted in billions
of real world dollars changing hands. Additionally, a company like google easily has the power to affect other companies,
or even influence the political process
simply by tweaking their search algorithms. Millions of people get their news online. If google,
whether deliberately or unintentionally, prioritizes news results to favor one candidate or measure over another, that could easily alter the course
of of an election. Would they? Maybe they would, maybe they wouldn't. But changing what is reported online and how it is reported online is
a viable and effective means of changing real world dollars, politics and events.
If you want a direct example of online activities affecting real world politics, let's next look at
. This was a masive, online political protest against the Australian
government in response to their proposed internet censorship regulations. In a purely online event
, a couple hundred hackers attacked and
defaced Austrialian government websites, and in particular made the official website of the Australian Parliament
unavailable for two whole
days. The results? Well, according to wikipedia
With the announcement made on 5 August 2010 by Joe Hockey that the Coalition parties will not vote in favour of the policy should the Labor party be
re-elected, it is now virtually impossible for the filtering scheme to pass through the Senate.
By all indications, a handful of people deliberately used the internet to influence Australian law, and succeeded. Think about that. These were not
physical protests. They were online. A plan of action was deliberately concocted on an internet forum, carried out purely online, and that action
resulted in significant, dramatic, and very real world changes to the legal system of the sixth largest country in the world.
There are many
examples of real-world changes resulting from online events.
To conclude, I would like to briefly address a few statements from my opponent's opening remarks.
I contend that for the purposes of this debate the internet is synonymous with the “World Wide Web.”
That doesn't work. The web is merely one component of the internet. The "internet" is simply a connection of networks that have been linked to each
other. There are a lot
of devices on that "inter" network that aren't even computers, let alone involved with hosting web content. VoIP
telephones, cameras, orbital satellites, internet television, email...even relating to ATS you can sign up to get twitter feeds directed to your
I don't expect that this will become a major point of contention. There are plenty of examples of even just the web by itself massively affecting the
real world, so there's not much need to address anything else, but suggesting that "the internet" is exclusively the web is horribly naive.
One can spend but a few minutes on the internet to realize that miscommunications,
misrepresentations, and outright lies are still leading to violence and strife. I appreciate
my opponent’s addition of this example and I will refer back to it often.
I will also refer often to the many vices and potential crimes the internet has created.
Sounds great. Please refer to these things
. Every time you do, you're demonstrating that the internet is an effective medium for change.
Nobody said that change had to be positive
, and nobody said the actual change had to match what was intended. Like in my example with Oprah and
her 9001 penises. Blatant hoax based on lies, and with a totally negative spin and result.
But it had an awfully dramatic effect on the real world
it is now a huge marketing and commerce tool.
Yes, please do
tell us at great length how the internet is a huge marketing and commerce tool. Tell us how it is a causitive force in
commerce, how business are compelled to use and deal with it, and how it directs and effects the flow of billions of dollars and companies across the
world. Please do. I'm only allowed 5 domains worth of links per post, and if you use up some of yours demonstrating these things, that will be even
more examples showing how the internet effects the real world.
I meant it when I said the internet is probably the most effective and powerful medium for change the world has ever known.
"Links to multiple pages within a single domain count as 1 reference but there is a maximum of 3 individual links per reference"
are out of sequence, but the count is within the alotment: 5 domains, 9 total links.
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