|My brief remarks will be addressed to
the topic of civic knowledge and discourse in democracy. One of the chief
consequences of new technology relevant to democracy is the decentralization
of political interfaces," such as the historical shift from a public
sphere dominated by three networks and the morning newspaper to a public
sphere inhabited by a virtually limitness set of information 'channels'
that provide dramatically expanded choice and selection by citizens. I'll
then suggest that this multiplication of interfaces raises the question
of a tension between desireable and undesireable changes in the public sphere.
One the one hand, new 'interfaces' contribute to one form of political equality
in realm of knowledge and discourse. One the other hand, the same processes
contributing to one form of equality also threaten to undermine the experience
of the common, to reduce the presence of political universals, and to de-integrate
the public sphere.