Today's Question: In several of the books we've read so far, we have found the hope or fear that new communication technologies challenge national borders or that they create new conditions for international unity (e.g., they will "bring the whole world together" or make place irrelevant). The Price book is an extended analysis of this one idea. Throughout the book Price compares and contrasts the consequences of specific technologies (satellite radio, AM radio, shortwave radio, the Internet, television, newspapers, books, etc.) for transnational migration, identity formation, international relations, and domestic politics. There are several examples in each chapter from specific places. Speaking generally, where is the agency (meaning: the means of action) in Price's accounts? In other words, is there an account of causation here, and if so, what is it? What leads to the consequences identified here, and what would we need to change to obtain different consequences?
I read this question as asking what forces are causing and pushing the examples in Price’s book. I think there is definitely an account of causation here, yet I am not sure if we can change anything to obtain different consequences. Very broadly, Price’s accounts seem to be an illustration of the classic power struggle man has been witness to since the beginning of time. Who is it that ultimately has the right to protect common man? Is it the common man? And if it is the common man that begs the question of whether or not the common man has the right to freedom from said protection. There are always vested interests – whether they are corporate, security based, or humanitarian in nature. These interests inherently speak to who has the power to procure solutions to the problems that lie within the interests. That is to say, regardless of nations working together to create a common law (e. g. satellite broadcasting or Internet security), there will be a power struggle involved. Who ultimately has a right to create the national or international values that establish laws?
Are there groups, organizations, governments, etc., that are capable of seeing the entire picture? I think this particular question is answered in the negative especially when examined in the struggle over the V-Chip. Price ultimately retells this account as a power struggle. Parents needed to be “empowered” through the help of the law. They have the right to protect their children. Yet Hollywood has the right to make money. Ultimately the rhetoric surrounding this debate focuses on the question posed at the beginning of this rant – who has the right and responsibility to protect children from imagery that may not even be bad for them in the first place?