Monday, June 26, 2006

Internet incantations

Dave suggests that the internet culture results in "A network a mile wide and nanometer deep".

I'd say that he's got a valid point, one that I won't dispute.

I will say that the internet makes it possible to lower the cost of keeping relationships that might otherwise get lost over time. I'm only now (at 42) starting to learn the value of keeping such friendships, and attempting to ween myself off of my hyperextended period of indifference.

I think that the tools are just that... tools. Like the atomic bomb, they do have some moral dimension of their own, but it is overwhelmingly up to the people and societies that decide how they are to be employed that bear the ultimate responsiblity. If we choose to bury ourselves in distractions, we'll get what we want. If we choose to do the other thing, and seek knowledge and growth, and nurturing of relationships, we'll get that as well.

The internet is a tool... not a silver bullet, which I believe is a view we can all share.

I'd like to mix in my interpretation of Ethan Johnson's "physical symbolism", like this:

Doc Searls has vision of the world as he wishes it to be. He consistently expresses and refines this view. The act of sharing and promoting the idea is a type of incantation, a type of magic for lack of a better term... the act of reciting and repeating this vision will eventually cause it to become manifest in reality. How quickly this happens, and how much of an actual difference it makes in the overall scheme of life, is best analyzed post facto (say 20 years from now).

We're all making incantations of what we'd like the world to be... its very important to be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

Thanks Dave, Doc and Ethan for the pointers, and the bits of wisdom.



Doc said...

It's true that I'm an incurable optimist. But there is a realistic side to my optimism as well.

Meaning, I can also predict with some certainty that much of Florida and Bangladesh will be under water within a hundred years or so, even if we switch off the greengouse gassing tomorrow.

But handbasket weaving never appealed to me.

Anyway, good observations. Also cool to see you on the IRC at Bloggercon, even though I could hardly participate, having had the duty of typing like a ticker machine the whole time.

Noran said...

the net is what you want to make of it. i type with one hand, for i am feeding virginia. with the net, i have made blog friends, that i would not have otherwise--one in canada, and tmz in chicago. one near and one far. we share blogs, in addition to emails. we had met thru a blog design to draw people together for friendship--good will, and to support those in need. the blogger got busy with her life, and ended this blog, but left lastng ripples on the web, with a great depth. The mini community that wasformed--really reached out to one another and did alot of good. I still miss it.
the depth is dependent on your input. when i had an active blog--the readers cared and were involved. then yesterday, a blog i hadstopped 3 years ago, got attacked by vandals---that is my labelfor them--about 5 comments--all bizzare/odd wre posted. before blogs, when ebay was new, i had made friends with a few of the sellers and buyers--i still do on occassion--one sent a home-made dress for the baby. I reconnected with this blogger via email, was courted via email, and married him, because he did not delete my first email to him. living in differentstates at the time--email progressed the courtship.
I will give you that the net has made the world smaller, as did the train, telegraph, and telephone-- it has also depersonalized the interactions we have, ONLY if we allow that to happen,which does because we are a lazy race!?!?

Noran said...

I thought of an old,glorious line that my father shared with me, when I was wee. It came to mind, after reading Mike's comments about Doc Searls.
The line is from "Man of La Mancha".
"life as it should be, not as it is.".
Ah,"to dream the impossible dream, to run where the brave do not go...". I grew up with the soundtrack of the movie, and can still hear clearly Sir Peter O'Toole say those, and other lines. These lines formed the foundation of my believes/values.