Don’t hate me because I’m elite with the tubes

Someone sent me this article by David Sirota, “Is the Internet for elites?” The subhead caught my eye, too: “A new study finds some truth in a favorite GOP talking point: Much of the Web is a ‘playground for the affluent.'”

I’d argue that to some degree America is a playground for the affluent, and always has been. We are a teeming mass of affluence and ambition for affluence. Always have been. History happens when larger groups seize some of that affluence for themselves. There is always resistance. And so it goes.

Sirota plays with the wording here. He’s obviously sympathetic to the possibilities of the Web in our economic, political and cultural systems, but points out some of the practical realities of today’s Internet. If you’re an active content producer on the Web today you’re probably college educated, you probably have some free time in your schedule, and you probably use the Internet as part of a self-identification process. Many of the arguments generated online are petty, divorced from the realities facing the vast majority of Americans who aren’t participating and certainly aren’t reading these words here, these ones here right now (also this word here: “self-indulgent.” That is one word because of the hyphen).

I’d suggest reading the article for yourself. You all know I push the Internet — its open access and use for innovation — as a major economic solution for rural areas like mine in northern Minnesota. But I concede that we are still sorting out the way the Internet can actually benefit all the people. I don’t believe the solution is to hold off from internet innovation, but rather to find ways to further democratize the Web.


  1. The web is for the elite, that is, the elite who have TIME. But so in anything else that one would care to dive into deeply. There are lots of people who don’t have the luxury of time, such as parents with jobs who also have young children, people with more than one job, commuters, and those who do lots and lots of volunteering. The other side of that time coin is slow internet: if you can only afford dial up. That just doesn’t cut it these days.

  2. I can’t say that I agree with the adjective “elite.” I would much rather use “progress.” I think that history shows us that as people become more educated and innovative the tools used to be successful progress adjacently. Unfortunately, this does limit some of the population’s accessibility to the most current technology/tools.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.