Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Tao of Internet

"Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth."
Ludwig Börne

If the internet would have a counterpart in the physical world it would be undoubtedly Las Vegas.
Las Vegas is sold to the public at large on the idea of winning money and adult entertainment.
If you want to win or sin (or both) you ought to go to Las Vegas. - Right?
He, he, he!

Well the next time you go to Las Vegas take a good look at the luxurious casinos and all that glitter around you.
Then say out loud to yourself:
- All this has been built with the money of the people that have come to Las Vegas to win!

Las Vegas might be trumpeted as the win and sin capital of the world but, there is very little wining and sinning going on in Las Vegas (unless you own a casino) – trust me on that, been there done that :)
Las Vegas was built on the mechanics of losing.
Actually it exists only because losing is guaranteed – it is built into the system.
BTW – They do not keep it a secret and publicly admit to it – they are crooks but they are honest :)

So what about the Internet and the Las Vegas parallel?
Well, the internet is sold to the public at large on the idea of connecting people. - Right?
But if any of you are on the internet looking for human connection, true love or just old fashion sex, you might as well go to Las Vegas to win some money!

There is very little human connection on the internet :(
If you are on the internet right now (Well, you ought to be – you are reading my blog. Duh!)
Take a good look at the empty room and say out loud to yourself:
- There is nobody here except me!

(No I am not here at this moment – unless by a remote chance.)
Surfing the internet is one of the loneliest human activities, probably second only to masturbation – but not as lonely as surfing and masturbating at the same time – trust me on that, ahem… so I heard :)

The internet was built on the premise of people being apart.
If the people would get together like they used to do in the old days, the internet it wouldn’t be booming like it does.

Every day we rush home or to the office to get in “touch” with the other people rushing to their computers.
But are the face books and the blogs, the my spaces and tweeters actually increasing your human contact in the physical world?
Do you have more “real” friends since the internet revolution, or less?
Is the internet and the new technologies the bridge to human contact, or the wall that keeps us apart?

I don't know - you be the judge!


Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Well look at it this way - in the past before the internet i would only have had access to my immediate community for places to go and communicate - maybe a few miles or social groups either way, but not really a great deal.

But the internet means that i am regularly able to communicate with people out there that i as a person have something in common with.

OK - so unless you're videoconferencing it takes away the immediacy, but surely the sharing of ideas is compensation? (and yeah, ok so there's a lot of crap out there too - but isnt that the same of your community?)

I think the reality is that people have always been insular and the internet is probably little more than a reflection of that, just on a wider scale

Talon said...

A lot of my contact on the internet is with people I know in real life. To me, it's an extension of my day-to-day life. And it's a tool. I think I would be worried if being on the computer was more important than closing it down and interacting with people in real time. I don't belong to facebook or twitter. Neither concept interests me. And, like every community, there are good places to visit and bad places to visit. You just have to learn your way around. I am grateful for the opportunity to meet excellent people I would never have met in my own neighborhood, though. That alone makes the travel around the net worthwhile.

Buddha said...

@ Pixie – “I think the reality is that people have always been insular and the internet is probably little more than a reflection of that, just on a wider scale”
I feel the same way. Technology is just magnifying our “human” qualities and both good and bad are so much more visible, so much in your face nowadays :)

@ Talon – There are a lot of good things about the internet and also a lot of bad one.
How this is going to evolve and how is going to change the human society is still hard to predict.
But the change is so fast that we are bound to see major shifts in our life time :)

Quantum_Flux said...

I don't know about you, BOH, but I'm corresponding with a lot more people online than I ever would have done offline. 1's and 0's are very much a part of our reality, not separate from it. But more to your point, does the internet bring me face to face with, say, somebody in Hong Kong? Not really, I'm not buying an airplane ticket for that.

Diego said...

I am finding, like Quantum Flux, that I am corresponding, and by that, I mean writing, to a lot more people than I ever did with a pen, but I am also finding that the communication is much I am not sure what the term is, but because of the speed of getting up a response perhaps, and people from different parts of the world all trying to communicate with each other, even language is changing.

When tweeters are limited to 150 characters or whatever it is (I don't use the service) they are forced to abbreviate and that carries over into their everyday lives, and most don't even notice.

Lots of internet sites like Facebook and Myspace hype themselves as social networking sites, but it sure doesn't feel like social anything to me, it feels like typing!

Quantum_Flux said...

Facebook allows pictures. I like sharing pictures and all that good stuff.