I have been thinking quite a bit about the Internet and its strange position in modern capitalist society.
Internet communication is becoming dominant as the medium for communication and distributing ideas. It is still felt to be weird, alienating and unpleasant by most it's users.
This is not surprising since the whole of Internet infrastructure has been built haphazardly.
I could compare the entire Internet to a vast city built completely randomly. If capital had the ability to build houses whose materials cost nothing, it would celebrate by firing all the architects and leave each person to build their own huge, horrid contraption.
But even that misses how computer communication is an entire new field of social relations and the economy has thrown us into it as quickly as possible with only the barest after-the-studies of the qualities of the psychology of email and web-forums.
The physical infrastructure of earlier societies was incrementally created following a slow interaction of history and convenience and was naturally an integral part of the "social fabric". Now, capitalist society has the power to upend this fabric and does it in the horrid way you would imagine.
But anyway, that's a stab at an outline of the general situation. We revolutionaries attempting to use the Internet are like everyone else reduced to the status of "users," making haphazard choices concerning haphazardly constructed technologies.
I have worked, off and on, as a computer programmer during this period of the rise of the Internet. One thing that stands out is that I believed that because I understood how to construct programs, I understood the implications of web technology. I think I now understand how many social implications are wrapped up in them. Websites are like houses and cafe, and magazines and other socially shared artifacts. The interaction formats we have now come from the technology and the history of these things (and unpleasant for the ill-thought-out-ness of all this stuff).
Now realizing the weaknesses of all, how can we revolutionaries do Internet relations in a way that is not dysfunctional? (I suppose Libcom is the bad example of website for these discussions).
I could say more (and edit what I've written more) but I just want to throw the door open for this discussion.