An interesting analysis of voting patterns in the general election, drawn from a post-election survey with a very large sample size, so should be pretty robust. Age emerges as the strong divider, though with the potential impact strongly damped by differential turnout – leaving as perhaps the key question the relative importance of the age effect and the cohort effect. The movement there is stark: at the beginning of the campaign, the pivotal age above which support was more likely for the Conservatives was 34. By the end of the campaign it was 47.
The founding myth of the internet is freedom – primarily free as in speech, but with a healthy dose of free as in beer. The network was everything – small pieces loosely joined, as David Weinberger put it. That meant power would be distributed, the voices of all would be heard, and connections would be based on trust. As Tim Wu then pointed out in The Master Switch, that had been the hope in the early days of radio and television too, before rapid consolidation into a small number of conglomerates – and with every prospect of that being true for the internet. Seven years on from Wu’s book (and fifteen after Weinberger’s), this essay sets out the dystopian view of the result, weaving together the technology, the commercial consolidation and the political and ethical consequences into a challenging narrative.