LIS 694
Discussion Questions for the World Information Society Report, Chapter 3, and Cortada, Chapter 9

  1. During a recent series the persons interviewed discussed access to information using mobile telephony by Latinos and African Americans:

    Blacks, Latinos Heavy Consumers Of Mobile Technology

    What Digital Divide?

    The first discusses the positive side. The second discusses the negative side of use of mobile technology to access online resources. How do the views of the persons interviewed in these segments temper the good news presented in chapter 3 of the World Information Society Report?
  2. Constitutional scholars have often written about the anti-majoritarian nature of the U.S. Constitution and its amendments. Aware that the rights of minorities are often lost during mob rule, the authors of the Constitution and Bill of Rights incorporated protections of the minority from the majority. Thus we have enshrined such freedoms as the right of an individual to choose a religion. Cortada writes of the mixture of representative and direct democracy that has developed over time in this country. He also notes that the forces advocating direct democracy have been gaining influence. Direct democracy is increasingly possible in the age of the Internet. Do you see a tension between this possible electronically-facilitated direct democracy and the anti-majoritarian protections afforded by the Constitution? Are there any dangers here? If so, what are they?

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