The Digital Divide

extended mind: blog

World leaders have gathered to Davos to think about the economic future of the planet. In particular, the question of income inequality gives cause to worries.

An economy where the majority of resources is isolated in the hands of the few cannot thrive. An economy is a moving, living thing. When its lifeblood is stored in a vault, be it a digital stowaway or a cave guarded by a dragon, the economy stagnates.

But there is an even worse gap brewing. I mean the Digital Divide that is building up as we speak. This division of intellectual resources will also no doubt contribute to increasing income inequality.

After all, income is not generated out of thin air, but out of activity resulting in smart allocation of resources. Be they capital, gold, water or coal. Or level design for a computer game.

What I mean by the Digital Divide is the…

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On free speech and blogging: The First Amendment applies to everyone, not just journalists


When Montana blogger Crystal Cox lost her defamation case in 2011, the decision was greeted by a chorus of cheers from journalists, who were quick to argue that Cox wasn’t a journalist in any real sense of the word, and therefore didn’t deserve any protection from the First Amendment. An appeals court for the Ninth Circuit has disagreed, however: on Friday, a panel of judges overturned the original decision and said that Cox was in fact entitled to protection.

The implications of this ruling go beyond just a single defamation case. It’s another link in a chain of decisions that are gradually helping to extend the principle of free-speech protection beyond professional journalism to anyone who is publishing information with public value — and as such, it helps shift the focus away from trying to define who is a journalist and puts it where it should be: on protecting…

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