Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Geeks Could've Stopped The Nazis?

From Slashdot:

There can be little doubt that the internet has changed everyday life for the better, but Nobel literature prize winner Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio has upped the ante by saying an earlier introduction of information technology could even have prevented World War II. "Who knows, if the Internet had existed at the time, perhaps Hitler's criminal plot would not have succeeded — ridicule might have prevented it from ever seeing the light of day," he said. I have to agree with him. If England had been able to send a "Stop Hitler Now!" petition to 10 friendly countries, those countries could have each sent it to 10 more friendly countries before the invasion of Poland, and one of history's greatest tragedies might have been averted.

Hmm, let me see.... While I certainly agree that the internet would've supplied ridicule in spades, I find it hard to believe that the ridicule dispensers (fat, nerdy folks like the comic book store guy from The Simpsons) would've contributed in any meaningful way to the demise of Hitler. Tough to imagine Churchill calling on net nerds for D-Day. Unless he had a Twitter account, of course.

It's a little disturbing that a Nobel literature prize winner floated this idea.

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