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Edward Castronova on Democracy - Dictionary of Arguments

Lessig I 285
Democracy/cyberspace/Castronova/Lessig: the single most interesting nondevelopment in cyberspace is that, again, as Castronova puts it, “one does not find much democracy at all in synthetic worlds.” (1) The one real exception is a world called “A Tale in the Desert.” (2) Democracy has not broken out across cyberspace, or on the internet. Instead, democracy is a rare exception to a fairly strong rule—that the “owner” of the space is the sovereign. And in Castronova’s view, the owner is not ordinarily a very good sovereign: In sum, none of the worlds, to my knowledge, has ever evolved institutions of good government. Anarchy reigns in all worlds. (3)
I 287
To the extent sites are sovereign, they are merchant-sovereigns. Our relationship
to them is the same as our relationship to McDonald’s.
I 288
David Post: Communities in cyberspace, Post argues, are governed by “rule-sets”. We can understand these rule-sets to be the requirements, whether embedded in the architecture
or promulgated in a set of rules, that constrain behavior in a particular place.

1. E. Castronova, Synthetic Worlds, 207
2. Ibid., 216.
3. Ibid., 213.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Castron I
Edward Castronova
Exodus to the Virtual World: How Online Fun Is Changing Reality New York 2007

Lessig I
Lawrence Lessig
Code: Version 2.0 New York 2006ff

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-06-20
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