re-examining my relationship with the internet10 Feb 2018
so this is by no means a new idea, but i’m doing some serious reflection on my relationship with the internet this year (2018).
as i reflected (back in jan) and continue to think back to how 2016 and 2017 went, my relationship with the internet keeps coming up. and, ironically, as i have been getting more and more into thinking about “the future,” i’ve been pulled into reading about how people in the past thought about the future.
one example that was heavily highlighted in a book called “the future” by nick montfort (gifted to me by ceasar mcdowell) was about the visionaries of the internet (or, really “the web”… apparently, they were/are different things… look it up if you want). my main takeaway there was that the world wide web as we know it was only possible (a) over time and(b) because many differnet people were working things they were most interested in and those things came together in open and connected ways.
but as the internet grows and things like social media, “big data,” and digital biometric markers become more ubiquitous, i’m worrying about what is the future those people are creating for those of us who aren’t paying attention to the architects.
and if you look at the architects, they’re doing things that seem counter-intuitive. or, at least they seem counterintuitive until you realize that they’re making the best decisions they know how to given the info they have (which is more info than the average person has).
the strange things:
- a disproportionate number of silicon valley parents, especially executives, have their children in waldorf schools
- the person who knows the most about the internet (ksd) that i have a personal relationship with is going dark as soon as he retires
- jaron lanier, the mind behind virtual reality, has no online presence
many of the most influential and/or knowledgeable people about the internet have opted out.
my takeaway: seems like there is something to learn from these people who don’t/won’t use their own creations.
other takeaway: how is it possible this is a world we’re creating and even applauding?
everything is data.
ps - questions i’m asking as i plot my exit:
- what do i get from the internet?
- what do i get from the specific platforms or tools i use most frequently?: facebook, twitter, tumblr, email, digital calendars, pinterest, etc.
- is it possible to get those things elsewhere and in ways that more align with my values?
- what would i lose by not using the internet?
- who else might lose out by me not using the internet?
- is my personal benefit of using the internet worth the cost?
- is our collective benefit of using the internet worth the costs?
words / writing / post-processing
359w / 12min / 7min