The Internet is reshaping our ideas of diplomacy, governance, and war—especially in the Middle East
Is it an accident that today’s Internet is being heralded (and condemned) as a Jewish invention? In contrast to the Internet in the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s—built by veterans of the top-down, systems-oriented hardware and information technology businesses—the new Web is a paradise for commentary, an elastic and amorphous collection of like-minded people bound together by shared and self-selected affinities and a global search for kinship and knowledge. Decentralized, diasporic, and sustaining what author Benedict Anderson has called “imagined communities” across national and ethnic divides, the complex architecture of social networking sites and search engines reflects and transmits a deep-seated affinity with what might be called the Jewish Basic Operating System (JBOS). And this merry-go-round of social networks, viral YouTube videos, and chains of conspiratorial misinformation and debunking—propelled by Jewish-owned companies like Google, Facebook, and Oracle—isn’t just affecting our daily lives; it’s also reshaping our idea of diplomacy, governance, and war—especially in the Middle East.
In this week’s Web Wars! series of articles, Tablet Magazine explores the “Jewishness” of the Web, “messaging” and “counter-messaging” in information warfare, and the capability these new offensive weapons may have to succeed where diplomats and military commanders have so far failed: in halting Iran’s march toward a nuclear bomb.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.