Monopoly on the internet?
What would Innis make of the Internet? Write a brief analytical comment about the relation of the Internet to society that you can defend as consistent with Innis's ideas in some way. For example, you might employ one of his concepts (information monopoly, time-biased, space-biased) or borrow one of his analyses from an earlier technology (cuneiform's effects on the invention of abstraction in math) and apply it to the Internet.
Initially, I found myself wanting to respond to this question by analyzing the internet based on Innis' concept of the time/space bias, however, the more I thought about it the more it might be more interesting to discuss the internet in terms of "information monopolies." My first instinct would be to say that the internet is a communication technology that transcends this constraint. In the age of web 2.0 it's hard to think of information being held by a small minority. The internet seems to be less monopolistic than previous forms. And yet it is perhaps too idealistic to believe that a great deal of the internet is not maintained by an unrepresentative section of the public. It's significant to note that especially when discussing the printing business, Innis is careful to explain that it was not that smaller presses could not produce material; however, they were never capable of maintaining the sales numbers as the major producers. This discussion reminded me of some statistics that are often related in political communication classes (I don't have the exact numbers here but I'll give you the trends...someone feel free to correct any inaccuracies). There has been a great deal of discussion as of late about how people are turning to online sources for news. There has been special attention drawn to alternative news sources like blogs. While more and more people are turning to these sources the overwhelming majority of individuals who use the internet as a news source turn to online versions of print or broadcast outlets. In a sense they go to the same establishment resources for information. In some sense, as long as people are still turning to the same outlets in a technology, has the information monopoly of the old technology really been broken?