You want to live under a government that . . .

You want to live under a government that, if your worse enemy in the world was in charge if it, you would not be too terribly inconvenienced.

Think of the Constitutional framework of the United States in about 1900. Some asshole high in the government has a bug up his ass and wants to throw you [ unjustly ] in jail. There are few federal crimes and no federal police, but suppose this asshole is owed favors by various state authorities he sends federal money to.

He gets a state district attorney to convene a grand jury, presents evidence and indicts you. Guess what, you are entitled to a trial by jury of your peers. Twelve ordinary people from your neighborhood stand between you and the awesome power and money of the State.

They don’t teach it any more in colleges, but when the USA was half slave and half free, northern juries refused to vote to return escaped slaves to their owners. Jury nullification, it was called.

The right to trial by jury is a major firewall against the power of the state and connected people.

And honestly, the fact that powerful people always control the levers of power shows the wisdom of truncating the levers of power into tiny toothpicks.

That is American Exceptionalism. In stead of the powerful directing the lives of everyone not powerful it trusts ordinary people to direct their own lives .

The entire Constitution is designed to limit the awful power of the state which has a monopoly on the use of force. The Constitution is designed to limit the sphere of action determined by force and expand the sphere of action directed by agreement. reason and individual judgement.

Active versus Passive Media

In the early days, the Internet was an active medium.  The experience of exploring the world wide web was called “surfing the Internet”. The Internet was analogous to a huge  sea, with waves and currents and winds, but the user navigated among these forces directing his experience as his interests required.

When you opened your web browser you might be presented with a few things, “best of the web” or “top sites” but very shortly you were off on a voyage directed by you. With use over time you accumulated places you wanted to revisit and they referred you to other places of similar interest.

Contrast the passive media: Television, newspapers, radio. You could choose on a very large grandular level what station to watch or newspaper to read, but beyond that you turned over your experience to the producers of that content.

Early in the Internet powerful people realized how power was slipping from their hands by self directed media. There  were attempts to make the Internet experience similar to the passive media.  Microsoft put active desktop on every windows laptop. Active desktop would feed Internet items (selected by Microsoft) to your personal computer for you to passively enjoy. Cel phones had “feeds”of one sort or another built in, often not removable. Again you could consume media information that more powerful, richer people selected for you.  Neither met with much success.

However, Facebook and Twitter are fairly successful Since one obviously cannot curate from the firehouse of information put up each second on these platforms, the user sees only a minuscule portion of the communications sent out. That minuscule portion is decided by people more powerful and richer than you.

These new one way media became supremely popular. I do not know why but I could try some guesses. Still, they are new iterations of passive media and as such are instruments of control instead of liberating.