I liked Nye's essay—not in the warm fuzzies sort of way I get when I read a particularly starry-eyed idealistic communications essay, but more of the appreciative academic sort of way when an essay just makes sense. (Wow, just read that sentence back and I'm starting to think I may have spent a bit too much time reading today….) It seems so logical that bringing people around to your way of thinking works so much better when your values and actions are in line and you're actually willing to listen as well as speak. And that your culture, values and politics are only going to attract others if they're (wait for it) attractive! Please stifle your gasps of shock. OK I'm getting sarcastic here because I spent twelve hours today reading academic essays and didn't get out of my pajamas until about 3 p.m. but I sincerely did enjoy it.
One thing Nye emphasizes (and everyone else too, really) is the importance of multi-directional communication and establishing relationships. Actually, Glassman really expands on this point in a way that did give me the academic warm fuzzies, probably because he just seems so darn confident in PD 2.0. But he does have a point. New Internet trends are better suited to the Western culture of free discourse than to the rigidity of extremism, and they are particularly suited to interactive communication and idea sharing.
Price's essay, on the other hand, was a little too dry for me, although I did appreciate the whole Keystone Cop description of the US and Serbs duking it out in Kosovo for broadcasting control. As for Powers and Gilboa, the piece was interesting, but didn't really seem to fit in with the others quite as well.
But let's not beat around the bush here. I think we all know I'm just excited about these essays because they deal with my favorite topic (starts with a P, rhymes with Jack Bauer). Yeah, I know, I'm a sucker for the power essays. But I'm just fascinated by the idea of constructing reality and shaping relationships with actions and words. It's an English-major's dream come true: that words and ideas actually matter.