Minority report: Internet ruminations
with Senator Ludlam


blog Allow me to direct readers to the blog of Greens Communications Spokesperson and Senator Scott Ludlam, which has recently re-awoken into vivid life after a period of long dormancy. Yesterday the erudite Senator published a long rumination on all matters NBN, media and the Internet in general. I commend it to you.

Some sample paragraphs:

“In the second decade of the 21st century, the broadcast model may well have peaked, and the picture isn’t pretty. Media corporations have grown and swallowed each other like blobs of mercury, unconsciously narrowing public debate to an echo chamber of empty consumerism. Media oligarchs trade stakes in TV stations as though they were poker chips and the line between editorial and advertising has been obliterated everywhere except the ABC. Offshore proprietors use cross-media platforms as political weapons, deployed to devastating effect during contests between elected governments and powerful industry sectors, the mining tax debacle being one recent example.

This is the domain where child psychologists are employed to refine junk food messaging for maximum impact on three year olds, and where hyper-sexualised branding strategies monetise the carefully researched insecurities of teenagers. In this world we’re still meant to be passive consumers. Political debate seems at risk of being reduced to the same imperative; an undignified zero-sum contest of soundbites and confected polls over who is best placed to manage 3% annual growth in the consumer economy and protect us from people who look different to us.”

There is something of the poet in Ludlam; yea, and something of the dreamer. But above all, there is something of the futurist. It is through the guidance of politicians like Ludlam that our society will avoid slipping into the sort of discordant dystopias envisaged by hit video game Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Rather, I have a feeling that if Ludlam had his way (and that’s the beauty of our technological revolution, he eventually will), the globe might end up being closer to Iain M. Banks’ The Culture: Universal information begetting universal prosperity; with life’s hardships being mediated by the discreet supervision of a clutch of benevolent artificial intelligences.

A toast — to perhaps Australia’s only politician so far who has truly demonstrated an understanding of the future of the Internet and technology in general.

Image credit: Eidos Montreal


  1. Hear! Hear! What a great read. Ludlam is definitely one of the few visionary politicians we have that gets what is happening with the media, and the future of telecommunications in Australia.

    • I’m not — that was an image grabbed from the net ;) I haven’t actually started playing the new Deus Ex yet — I’m going to finish the first two first ;)

      Playing Dark Souls atm.

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