Baby It's a Wild World (Wide Web)

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Imagine if the Defence Department pointyheads at DARPA had realised what they were doing when they decided it might be a good idea to network all computers in case of nuclear attack and created ARPANET which would evolve into the internet: they would have killed it at birth (and maybe nuked the lab and everyone in it just to be sure). Because today the webernet is a total anarchy space. It has fulfilled the promise of freedom of speech in a way that I think was never intended by its founders – particularly since that freedom also extends to terrorists, enemies of the state, pedofiles, facers, tubers and bloggers just to mention some of the more egregious examples. It is the wild, wild west where you can do, say and be anyone you like. Imagine if someone had said to them ‘By the way boys, you know you’re going to destroy copyright for music and movies and make information free’…and they’d be like ‘You mean all information – wow!’ and then they maybe might have thought ‘But what about stuff that people shouldn’t see…’. Wiki anyone?

Yes folks, you get the picture: freedom has its price and in the case of the webernet it’s just too high. It may well be time to pull the plug (just think internet marketing if you’re not convinced). Imagine if those good ‘ole boys had realised that they would turn life into reality TV (something they were fortunate enough never to have seen); that the overwhelming minutae of someone’s life would be of overarching interest to…well anyone and everyone. It appears that you don’t really exist now unless you’re facing, tubing, twitting, tumbling or indulging in some yet to be popular form of social networking (I love the use of the word social here – particularly since these interactions usually involve a person sitting alone in a darkened room in front of a glowing screen often with Kleenex close to hand). In my day ‘face time’ referred to an altogether different activity. Does anyone not know that a ‘twit’ is a pregnant goldfish? Why on earth do you want to know what’s on my mind (which is that I’m in love with my AK47 and that my persecutors’ time is at hand if you must know)?

The internet should give us overarching proof of the primacy of human intelligence and evolution and our innate cleverness. To some extent it does, let’s be fair, but the idea that on the internet no-one will know you’re a dog is undercut somewhat by people’s perverse desire to prove just the opposite: just how incredibly stupid, gullible, shallow and peurile they can be. And for that, as Daniel Tosh would say, we thank you Defence Department. Nice one boys!

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