Some people think that the internet was made for Hollywood and for the music industry, giving them infinite distribution for minimal investment. Maybe they’re right. We’ve had a decade or two of furious debate about this, some of which has been translated into law. And some of the law appears to be related to Equus Asinus.
Yet others think that the internet was made to fill the yawning gap left in spy-versus-spy activities by the end of the last Cold War, giving them infinite reach for minimal investment. After all, they did pay for some of the research. Maybe they’re right as well. We’ll probably have a decade or two of furious debate about this too, and some of it will be translated into law. And yes, some of that law will relate to Equus Asinus.
There’s also a growing bunch of people who think the internet is broken, that it shouldn’t work, that it doesn’t work, that it will stop working very soon, that everything will have to be demolished and rebuilt “properly”. Maybe they too are right. We’ll probably have a decade or two more of furious debate about this….. you get my drift.
They may all be right. In their own way they are all right.
But you know something? So is the internet. Yes, the internet’s all right. It’s doing fine, thank you very much.
Continuing to defy economics and gravity and physics and government and a host of others. Routing round obstacles as is its wont. Refusing to do what it is predicted to. Resolutely converting everything in its path to digital state. Every day, the internet gives me reason to smile, reason to wonder. Despite everything.
Just yesterday, I saw this. A reconstruction of a conversation between YouTubers “Sophie Danze” and “JilianLovesTheBiebs”, taking place in the “corridors” around the video One Direction: What makes you beautiful. A reconstruction carried out by trained actors. A reconstruction that had me in tears.
A year or two ago, I was similarly entertained by the prospect of people creating poetry out of the autocomplete suggestions that Google makes to your search term input, creating a whole genre called Google Poetics. I’ve provided you with an example below.
For some years now we’ve had people using the review space in Amazon to create beautiful things. I touch upon that here in a post I wrote some years ago, on unintended consequences of the internet. You can read more here about humour in the review columns.
Digital space is infinite. And people will find infinite ways to create things in that space, and to share it. And, despite all the naysayers and the corrupters and those who insist on suborning the internet for their own, sometimes nefarious, purposes, the internet will continue.
It will continue to tell me stories like this one, about Michael Paul Smith and what he does.
As with any other utility, people will try and create hidden monopolies out of the internet.
As with any other communications infrastructure, people will try and find ways to control every aspect of it.
As with any other technology, people will find ways to use it for good as well as for evil.
And in the meantime, the internet will go on.
And I will continue to marvel. Lazily. And try and do my bit to ensure that it does go on. And on. And on.
Because it’s a wondrous thing, the internet.