Friday, June 26, 2009

Future Imperfect and the Disputed Iranian Election

One of the arguments David Friedman makes in Future Imperfect (which I sort of review here) is that it is hard to know which way information technology will take us--to a panopticon in which the government can watch everyone, or a world in which everyone can easily monitor the government, or both. Would a world in which everyone can watch everyone result in more happiness or less?

The press has been talking a great deal about the use of information technology, particularly twitter, by the protestors in Iran. It has been used to get information to the outside world, and it has probably been used to organize protests. Here is an article, however, which argues that the government can just as easily use this technology to sow confusion and misinformation, or to stifle discussion.