project proposal: digital war

I am not sure how to do a creative project so I plan on just writing an essay about the effects of the internet in the new world created after the Cold War. Since the internet has become so accessible, it has completely revolutionized the way we interact, especially in combat. No longer does the military force have to out number or out wit the opponent, it has simply become a nuclear arms race that has put diplomacy and warfare at such a distance that an the entire country could be annihilated by pressing a few buttons. The internet has increased to speed of the exchange of information, allowing for leaders to make more prompt and knowledgeable decisions. It has also increased awareness of the general public so citizens can research the progress of a war themselves without relying on an occasional staged presidential address.

We've talked about net neutrality in class a few times. It seems like the fist amendment of the internet really, and if were talking politics and wars then maybe it should be of relevance to your project.

Will we truly be able to rely on media that comes through the internet if distribution and hosting is controlled by a few giant companies with political ties and biases?

also check out the enzensberger and baudrillard essays again. Media decentralization and mass newspapers might be things to think about if you want the internet to provide good information about wars/politics. good luck, hope this helps some.

I saw this really interesting commercial for a show by one of my favorite guys on TV, Bill Moyers. Check out the PBS site for the upcoming show . . . "Buying the War." It talks about the role the media have played in the Iraq mess, and it could be a really interesting thing for you to look at.

Moyers is also heavily active in the whole net neutrality, so look him up, and you could kill 2 birds with one stone. Just a suggestion! Best of luck to you!

This sounds like a very interesting research project, but one that's potentially huge -- you'll want to narrow its focus so that it's a manageable size, and so that you can actually go into some depth on the issues rather than only being able to skim across the surface of them. You'll also want to make sure that you've got some concrete object from which you're drawing and analyzing the evidence in support of your claims. You might, for instance, take a look at the September Project, started by my friend David Silver along with a couple of his colleagues, which aimed at reframing the discourse around the anniversaries of 9/11 from a "never forget," us against them mode of patriotic fervor to a grassroots-oriented, democratic mode of promoting real discussions about the nature of patriotism and citizenship in the twenty-first century. It's a fantastic project, and it's grown enormously in the few years it's existed -- and it might provide a good place for you to focus your attention. I'll look forward, however, to hearing more about your own interests here, and how you intend to create your focus for this project.

When discussing war between superpowers, such as during the Cold War, this all seems very clear. But in some wars, the clear technological upper hand doesn't do the trick. Vietnam and Iraq are the obvious examples, where the US was so clearly favored because of technology, and success was expected to come easily, but just didn't. Sure, we could push a button to blow them up, but if everyone knows we're not going to, what's the point? To what extent does technology really win a war?

This sounds like it has a lot of potential; maybe you could focus on power structures latent in the internet/other important new media and maybe how they correspond to previous ideas about what new media should be in terms of how power is distributed? Examining the role that information, telecommunications, and their ability to sway public opinion (and the "machines" that exist to do so) play in the flow of international power could be a killer final paper, but I don't envy you the reading on that. Dunno how to narrow it down but those strike me as some interesting topics that are what you might want to be driving at? "The war of signs instead of the war of industry"?