Usenet is dead
Actually, I think Google killed the newsgroups quite a while ago. The basic premise of the newsgroups was free and open discussion, not that ANY one organization would be able to effectively strangle discussions by kicking out people who dare to criticize that organization. Yeah, that's MY interpretation, but I don't feel lonely. Amusingly enough, the criticisms were intended to be constructive--but the main result was to convince me that Google has gone EVIL. (Then again, I still don't blame Google. It's the American laws that basically require any large company to become more and more evil to survive in competition with the other large companies that are willing to push harder. The vicious part of the circle is that the laws are increasingly written by professional politicians who are owned by the worst actors, while the large majority of good actors are foolishly content to simply play by the rules, even if they play hard.)
Anyway, moving on from usenet, I think we are more plagued by other forms of information dysfunction. For example, there is super-ignorance empowered by the search engines that allow the most ignorant person to completely saturate his input channels with so-called evidence ("I read it on the Internet so it must be true.") supporting whatever crazy thing he wants to believe. Can any democratic or republican government survive as a house divided? Not merely divided, but some parts of the house are in different universes that would confuse Alice to death.
Another example is super-envy, where poor people learn about the American lifestyle via the Internet and conclude that America is living high on the hog by grinding their faces into the mud. Guess what motivates some terrorists?
In conclusion, I still think the tools are morally neutral and that information is good. However the tools can be used for bad purposes and not all information is of equal value. " I think we done got ourselves into a big heap of trouble...