As we continue to reflect upon the chain of political upheavals of 2011, it may be interesting to consider a particular shift in the status of information technology, now that it has been deployed as such a powerful force in facilitating the rise of a new popular voice.But first, how did this happen? How did a form of communication—developed in the late 1950s with a well-funded US Defense Department initiative in response to the Sputnik threat, then blossoming in the hands of engineer-entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley of the 1970s into the center of accelerated hyper-capitalism in the 1990s—evolve to become a strange hybrid of a free press, judiciary, and public market?After all, it was not long ago that information technology seemed to stabilize as a mere outgrowth of capitalism with side benefits for those who could afford the hardware necessary to access it.
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