On the Internet, No one knows you’re a meme

This post is not about politics, although it is about Ron Paul’s quote in the NYTimes today:

Mr. Paul, 72, a retired physician and a grandfather, acknowledged that the influence of the Internet had surprised even him. “We always knew it was supposed to be important,” he said of the Internet. “My idea was you had to have someone who was a super expert, who knew how to find people. But they found us.”

If I were blogging about politics, I’d be predicting that Paul’s campaign will continue to display the story-arc of the Howard Dean netroots movement and how Paul’s campaign will likely use the money raised by the those internet people to hire “a super expert” who will get paid lots of money while the campaign crashes and burns, but that’s okay, because that super expert will still get paid even more money to write a memoir and give speeches about the experience.

But this is not a post about politics.

No. This post is an observation of following: Mr. Paul, in a simple, childlike, way has captured the zeitgeist of an era in which media and marketing executives who don’t really live on the web try to package up and own the web. Sometimes they may stumble into success, but they still don’t understand the illusive, fickle, un-bottlable nature of the meme.

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  • DF Robichaux

    The meme is driving the campaign, not the other way around as was the approach with Dean.
    The internet is the greatest gift to our democratic republic since the printing press. Information is now easily acquired by little effort and flows in multiple ways , not constrained by gatekeepers anymore. People can mobilize, pull and push information and work in ad-hock ways to solve problems unheard until recently. It takes a libertarian like Ron Paul to have an understanding of the power unleashed by decentralization of effort. The mostly typical social authoritarians who work in Washington politics haven’t a clue, but leading edge business’s have learned the power of decentralization and solving problems by ad hocking resources and information. Washington and most of the political establishment campaign and govern with 19th century authoritarian, top-down culture and technology . Ron Paul is truly ahead of any other candidate running for president by recognizing that politics can be truly open and democratic with today’s information technology . If he runs the government like he runs his campaign, he will truly be the best president we have ever had.

    DF Robichaux
    http://lifebelowi10.blogspot.com

  • Rex Hammock

    Mr. Robichaux’s comment displays why I tried to make clear my post was not about politics. First, Mr. Robichaux obviously isn’t a student of the former physician Howard Dean’s campaign and how the whole “movement” began outside the campaign. The campaign was soon captured by the DC insiders and the rest, as they say, is history. My observation (if I were commenting about politics) had to do with the scalability of ad-hockery and how the culture of those who have gotten this off the ground will likely clash with those who “are brought in” later, if only because some professionals have to be enlisted to manage and spend all that money — necause if it’s not managed and spent correctly, folks can go to jail. (Of course, uh, I’m sure, uh, this won’t happen with former physician Ron Paul.)

    (I won’t get into responding to the notion of having a President who lets the government’s information technology be run by the people on the Internet.)

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