Blog 10: Republic 2.0
When I first heard that we would be reading a book about blogs I was not very enthusiastic. Republic 2.0, however, did surprise me. Sunstein brought up points that normally I would have never thought and he shed light on things we do everyday that can have consequences for our democracy. At times Sunstein could be pretty dense and redundant but overall I think that he did a good job of bringing up interesting stories and examples. Would I recommend this book for a casual read for one of my friends? No, probably not. However, for a class like political communication this book does a good job making students think about the role of the internet in our society.
The part of the book that I found most interesting dealt with how media fragmentation can be a good and a bad thing. For example, Sunstein talked about how extremist groups further entrench themselves in their ideology when they cut themselves off from the outside world. This only lead to the extremist groups believing that their way was the only way and everyone else is wrong. On the other hand Sunstein described how having limited media options can be good for democracy because it gives the citizens of a country a shared experience and unites them. I found his story about the state-run channel in Israel pertaining to this aspect very interesting.
One thing I did not like about the book was how he talked about the same things over and over again. It felt to me as if the first chapter and last chapter were like distant cousins of the same point in that they were different but sort of hammered home the same things. Also at times I found the book kind of boring and hard to get through. To me it felt like I was reading a text-book rather than a published book you can pick up anywhere. Other than that I really don’t have any complaints.