Jamie's Blog

Ruby developer. CTO. Swimmer. Always trying to write more

Disappointment and Disparity

It seems like Bush will be the Chief Monkey in the White House for another four years. I share Russ’ disappointment and disbelieve, but I’m not surprised. Assuming that the election was fair (quite likely) and there was no vote rigging (probable) then we have to respect the will of at least 50% of the voting American people.

The most interesting aspect of the election is the disparity between the apparent vote in the real world (we’re still waiting for the final results) and the representation of opinions on the Internet. From my perspective, every blog I’ve read and every site I’ve visited that has expressed a political opinion has encouraged people to vote against Bush. If you lived on the ‘net for the last few months you’d have been forgiven for thinking that Bush was as dead, and not just as dumb, as the dodo. And yet, this isn’t what happened.

There are four real possibilities

  1. Not everyone who supported Kerry voted for him
  2. Those that didn’t express an opinion voted for Bush
  3. My perspective of the net is skewed
  4. Or, the Internet is not representative of the real-world
Well, I seriously doubt #1. #2 is true for a percentage of the cases. #3 is definately true but there isn’t much I can do about it. The interesting fact is #4. The Internet is not representative of the real-world. Whatever comes out of this election, this is something that all technologists need to remember. This disparity needs some serious consideration by technopolists when they talk about the Internet as a great liberating, equalising force for good. It needs to be studied by academics and understood in the context of the whole world.

The 'net is not representative of the real-world. Say it again: the 'net is not representative of the real-world.The Internet is not representative of the real world.