Politics as information

Not a huge insight or anything, just a pleasant thought while high:

A while ago Constant posted a link to a discussion about the overrepresentation of libertarians on the internet. The reason there are more libertarians is that people who use the internet are making use of a more advanced information technology than what other people use, so they are gleaning better information.

I think the internet is a better technology for disseminating and processing information (i.e. arriving at truth) because of increased competition created by the economies of scale of its network architecture.

Libertarianism represents better information than the political ideas proposed by those who don't use the internet. (Obviously libertarianism and other political philosophies exist both on and off the internet, I'm just simplifying from their respective proportional representation by medium.) This isn't to say that libertarianism is right, or proven, or any triumphalist claim like that; it could still be entirely wrong, but it refines the amount of information that can be processed about political philosophy and produces a rational explanation for all the discrepancies between what its refined information produces and what the coarser information of liberalism/conservatism produces.

This is reason for great optimism. As information-processing technology continues to improve, presumably so too will our ability to process better political systems than libertarianism (and better ethical systems than libertarianism's underpinnings), and for the wisdom embodied in libertarianism to spread inexorably among human populations in the same way that other new technologies do.

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i always believed this to be

i always believed this to be one factor. Another, sadly, is demographics. The internet, especially near the high tech fringe, is dominated by young ,upper-middle class, introverted, overeducated males. Basically the net is full of nerds. This demographic is exceptionally suited to be psychologically comfortable with libertarian ideology. Sure, increased access to information allows these nerds to learn about libertarian ideas and become educated about issues and theories of economics and politics. However, it is their off-line personas that make libertarianism acceptable.

I think that's right. People

I think that's right. People who use "their feelings" instead of their reason to understand the word tried a hundred times to configure their modem "with their feelings", failed and hence were kept of the internet. It's becoming less and less true but it's still a factor.

 

Not any more

That might've been true back in 1997. But everyone and their grandmother is on the internet today. Myspace wouldn't exist if the internet was only for the nerds.