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The internet as a postmodern pastiche

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sociology
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Knox College

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term papers
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  1. Introduction
  2. Nietzsche's perspectivist philosophy
  3. The accessibility of the internet and its challenges
  4. Importance of the images
  5. The internet as a representation of the postmodern age
  6. Different meanings of post modernism
  7. Conclusion

The Internet, like postmodernism, is what Berger would call a slippery bar of soap: once you think you've defined it, the definition escapes. It is simultaneously a thing, a place, an idea, a self-sustaining entity, and a tool, existing everywhere and nowhere at the same time and constantly rewriting itself. The Internet can best be described as a postmodern pastiche: as Berger defined it, a hodgepodge of random, unrelated ideas and perspectives that combine to be more than the sum of their parts. Though any entity that hosts both goofy flash animations of dancing babies and millions of hours of pornography might seem like a disorganized waste of time, the Internet is also a vehicle for anyone to learn nearly any fact they want to find out, instantly and for free.

[...] The Internet is a representation of the postmodern age. Its power structure is constantly shifting: individual YouTube voters might make an individual amateur videographer the most popular guy on the Internet, only to suddenly turn on him, voting his work into unpopular obscurity a week later. Videos of dancing bananas and little kids explaining Star Wars are viewed and discussed by millions of people before falling back into obscurity as fast as it came into the public consciousness. Even the presidential candidates have realized the power of the internet in granting clout: for the first time, entire debates have been posted on YouTube, and politicians have gotten wise to the fact that, in order to capture the votes of the youngest generation, one must project a good image on the internet. [...]


[...] The freedom of information offered by the Internet has stripped the government of its power to censor, exemplifying the postmodern idea of power as constantly shifting. This phenomenon can be observed in other places than Wikis. For instance, news blogs written by subjective individuals have taken much of the power of knowledge out of the hands of big news corporations, allowing consumers of information to sample a multitude of reports on any news event and combine them to draw their own conclusion. [...]

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