Here’s a thought:
What if, the day after you read this, the internet were to “Die.” Not necessarily totally disappear (although that wouldn’t be a bad place to consider), but what if it were walled off so that certain areas you had liked were suddenly unaccessable no matter which service you used? What if certain websites were suddenly cut off except for at a cost while other, “similar” websites were suddenly available.
Say, if you couldn’t get your Yahoo Mail but had instead to get MSN mail? Or if your music stations suddenly went from the whole collection to Universal Music plus a couple of music companies given to you for “local flavor?” Or is your favorite anti-WalMart page was suddenly replaced by a pseudo-rebellious webpage with hints of how to rebel with the help of WalMart. Or the web won’t let you go to Dr. Mercola, instead pushing you towards a Dr. Mercury who talks about the utility of drugs, the wonders of today’s meats and how immunizations make you a better, greater human being.
The question becomes: how do you get around, keeping up your knowledge-seeking and actions?
Thing is, with this thing called the internet a lot of places where we could get alternate versions of knowledge and reality have disappeared. Many independent music stores, record stores and other forms of gathering places have gone under as people have turned to the internet for their edification. This leads to a lot of isolated knowing people without the ability to reach out to other people.
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I have always had a bit of doubt with the power of the internet since it first came out. Sure, part of this is from personal problems; but much of it is because I’ve always seen this “internet” as nonmaterial. It’s just a bunch of 1s and 0s, put together in such a way as to make communications faster (and more robust), surveillence possible (i.e. you in your house, watched by your appliances and told about to the government) and knowledge stored (in a format that’s easily erased). Just because you’re able to get in touch with people all over the nation doesn’t mean you know them better than your neighbors down the street; indeed I’d say you know both less well than you’d know your neighbors when you meet them on the street and talk with them on occasion.
So my question is: how will you meet with like-minded people once you lose the ability to go online? And whom would you share your tastes with with your neighbors? After all, you could have the knowledge to free the world, create unlimited energy and tear down the industrial-banking complex strip-mining the world’s wealth for its own use; but if you end up dying without sharing any of it that knowledge dies.
And here’s a thought you might want to consider: One truth shared and believed by another person is a greater accomplishment than thousands of truths learned and kept to yourself.