Oprah time: The Dark Net by Jamie Bartlett

The Dark Net had been sitting on my shelf for a while. Jamie Bartlett works at Demos, has written for The Telegraph and writes books looking at the intersection between radical politics and technology.

The Dark Net provides an overview of how politics and social forces have adapted to the internet. Bartlett is largely non-judgemental. In some respects it seemed to a series of essays that followed the Mondo ethos of documentary media.

It felt like some of the content was put in to spice book up, which is the reason why I thought it was similar to Cavara, Prosperi and Jacopetti’s film Mondo Cane 50 years earlier.

Libertarianism was beneficial to the early web:

  • Privacy infrastructure including strong cryptography
  • Fighting surveillance legislation

The Dark Net shows how the libertarianism that spawned the early web has:

  • Weaponised social interactions
  • Driven extreme marketplaces
  • Drove the development and adoption of cryptocurrency
  • Facilitated reinforcing communities to encourage suicide, racial hatred and eating disorders