Sunday, December 30, 2001

Following the comments on "The Social Network Explorer", I have had an email which told me things I didn't know about blogs and bloggers. Interesting things about networks that are created in the old fashioned way of physical contact (sometimes very close contact), about a feudal system worthy of Habermas' re-feudalisation, and certainly not the public sphere of discourse I thought this to be. Habermas uses the words which are translated "Borgerlig Offentlighet" from German to Norwegian... when I try to translate to English, I get "Public Public", a ridiculous phrase. But his idea was that a rational exchange of ideas could happen in a space where all can express their meaning informally and as equals. This would lead to an open discourse, informed and democratic, which would be the best base for decision. According to Habermas, we had such a state of innocense in the 19th and early 20th century. It was succeeded by Re-Feudalisation.

No, I am not quoting sources or even passing the words on. But I'll be dragging Jurgen Habermas out of the shelf, read up on the theory (OK, so I have to teach classes on this anyway) and see what I can do about tracking links. Perhaps there is a way to use the social network explorer after all.

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