3. Virtual life means to some that one's "true persona" can enter cyberspace freed from the limitations of the body. Of course, there is no need to limit oneself to one "persona"; one can present many different faces to others in the virtual community. There is no moral "judgment" associated with this variety of "personae." One's life on the web need not have anything to do with one's life in the physical world.
4. "Community" generally refers to the interactions of members of the same region. Although usually refers to a geographically defined area, one could conceive of cyberspace as a different kind of region. [Recall Mitcham's meta-technology, an Internet culture that transcends particular cultures.] Community can be narrowly defined as so as to include persons living in a specific geographical locality, or it can be broadly defined to include those who have similar interests.
5. It is not satisfactory to define virtual community by taking virtual in the dictionary sense of a "semblance of reality." The virtual community is not an apparent or false community; it is a different kind of community. In fact, the virtual community of the internet was preceded long ago by the scholarly communities of those who shared written texts, but without necessarily ever meeting face to face. In fact, scholarly communities have linked individuals to those who have shared their interests even in past times. And in this community, body and looks are irrelevant.
6. Scholarly communities can exist across time. Academic societies and libraries are similar kinds of communities. What virtual communities add to this older notion is interactivity and immediacy within time. Some types of Internet communications which allow for different kinds of personae and different kinds of ethical responsibility are:
8. Cyberspace is the apparent realization of bodily transcendence, a realm of pure mind or imagination, constructed and reconstructed by imagination, and where one person's imaginative projection meets the imaginative projections of others.
9. The problem is we need our bodies. Thus, virtual worlds
may be "imaginative escape" rather than real liberation from the body.
However, the projection of personae does have some impact on my biological
1. What is Beckman's view of the term "virtual neighborhood"? What meaning does he assign to the word virtual?
2. What does the word "neighborhood" signify? What is missing in one's relation with a "virtual neighbor"?
3. How does Beckman regard substituting global virtual relations for local intimacies? Discuss.
The List of Uses
4. According to Beckman, how does the sharing of information on the Internet stack up against other forms of publishing one's views?
5. What is the greatest potential of the Internet, according to Beckman?
6. How does this greatest strength conceal its greatest dangers? What problems of authentication exist in Internet publication?
7. Why is the Internet unlikely to become a great medium of education, according to Beckman? What does education mean, according to Beckman?
8. When does Internet "use" become abuse, according to Beckman?
Whats sorts of problems does he refer to?
1. What is meant by "anarchy"?
2. What are the positive and negative views of anarchy?
3. What can be said in favor of a positive view or ideal of anarchy?
4. How could one argue in favor of a coercive state?
5. What was Thomas Hobbes' view of civil society or government?
6. Does the state always prosecute justice and protect the innocent and vulnerable?
7. Does the Internet lead to anarchy? If so, is it anarchy in the positive or negative sense?
8. What is meant by the internationalism of the Internet?
9. How does association on the Internet differ from civil society?
10. In what ways is the Internet politically subversive?
11. Do states, even working together, have control over the Internet?
12. What does the Internet do to the authority of government?
13. What is meant by the "populism" of the Internet?
14. Are there any credentials required for exploring or contributing to the Internet?
15. What does the optimistic anarchist have to cheer about with regard to the populism of the Internet?
16. What two assumptions are made by this optimistic view?
17. How does the assumption, "Knowledge is power," relate to the Internet?
18. What is then assumed about the power of the state?
19. What is assumed about contributing to the Internet?
20. What condition does Graham place on accepting some of these positive views of the Internet?
21. When raising the question of the empowerment of criminal conspiracies on the Internet, is the pessimist case any stronger than the optimist's?
22. What is meant by moral anarchy?
23. What is meant by moral education?
24. How are preferences altered by socialization?
25. How are desires altered by inherited and uninvented values and practices?
26. What happens to moral education with regard to the Internet?
27. What is meant by "mere congruence" as opposed to "co-ordination"?
28. Why does this aspect of the Internet lead to anarchy in the bad sense?
29. What is meant by moral fragmentation, as opposed to moral community?
30. Can submission to socializing influences ever be completely avoided?
31. What is wrong with the widespread release of "free spirits"?
Why virtual communities are unlikely to provide a foundation for a democratic society.