Remote Locutions: Mediation, Alienation, and Superfluity in Cyberspace Ideology

Janus Head: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenological Psychology, and the Arts

18 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2016

See all articles by Mary Anne Franks

Mary Anne Franks

University of Miami School of Law

Date Written: January 16, 1999

Abstract

This article, published in 1999 when I was a senior in college, was my first publication in an academic, peer-reviewed journal. It was my earliest engagement with an issue I still grapple with today, namely, the dark side of Internet idealism.

Grand claims about the immediacy, authenticity, accessibility, and humanity of cyberspace are severely undermined by the parallels between cyberspace and the Arendtian "classless society." Cyberspace enthusiasts exhibit an alarmingly empty and ahistorical idealism. Behind the heady affirmation of all things virtual is a pseudo-social, pseudo-humanitarian dualism that is paving a path towards totalitarianism.

Keywords: Hannah Arendt, totalitarianism, immediacy, John Perry Barlow, chat room, virtual reality, Internet

Suggested Citation

Franks, Mary Anne, Remote Locutions: Mediation, Alienation, and Superfluity in Cyberspace Ideology (January 16, 1999). Janus Head: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenological Psychology, and the Arts, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2886654

Mary Anne Franks (Contact Author)

University of Miami School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 248087
Coral Gables, FL 33146
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.miami.edu/faculty/mary-anne-franks

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