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Digital Disconnect: Does the Internet Make US Smarter or Dumber?

The Most Revolutionary Act

Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy

Directed by Ridley Scott (2018)

Film Review

Based on media critic Robert McChesney’s book by the same name, this is a thoughtful exploration of the growing debate whether the Internet makes us smarter (by giving us access to information) or dumber (owing to information overload and algorithms that trap us in unique information bubbles* and bombard us with corporate/government propaganda, “fake news” and orchestrated distraction).

McChesney begins by tracing the steady transition from the Internet’s early egalitarian, democratic, community-focused roots to its present domination by four major corporations (Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google).

McChesney begins by dispelling the myths we our taught in school – that capitalism is synonymous with democracy. He points out that capitalist economic systems are very common under totalitarian systems, eg China, Chile under Pinochet and Italy under Mussolini. Class society and inequality are fundamental aspects…

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