Internet Essay, Research Paper
This is a nice invention. And considering the www alone, the main thing is that it is flashy, colorful, icons are blinking and it can
talk to you. Besides that, it is fast and easy, of course. It claims to be a powerful tool for exchanging and gathering information
which will change the world in the near future. And probably it will. The enthusiastic prophets of this tool stress that the amount
of information available on the web is already immense and quickly growing, and access is getting cheaper, faster and more
widely available (financially and mentally) to all. And I’m asking: So what?
First of all, too much information means no information. If I read one newspaper I can learn something. With twenty
newspapers I can hardly read the titles and if I’m not looking for anything in particular I’m lost. Similarly, browsing the web
without a very specific subject in mind (as the majority of our fellow humans do) turns this tool into a horrific waste of time. And
the vast information stored here is useless, as if it wasn’t there. Secondly, to get anything interesting or informative from the
web, no matter what the subject, one must know its exact location, else one is compelled to dive into a muddy flood of *censored*.
This leads me to the point of clarifying the term “information”:
This word usually has two meanings, a fact that contributes to misunderstandings. It can mean a piece of wanted, useful and
understandable data or it can also mean any piece of data. When a stupid chick posts some info that her doggie just pissed on
the carpet and she includes on the web page a picture of her with the dog, I wouldn’t even call it “data”. I call it a scandal. And
I waste my time downloading this crap because it happened that this rotten dog is named Io, the same name as one of Jupiter’s
moons, pictures of which I wanted to look at. Now you know what I’m talking about.
Therefore I say that www enthusiasts talk of “flow of information”, when there is virtually no information. And such “valuable”
exchange of crap between people is supposed to lead to a higher level in the development of the human race. Congratulations.
Would you like to make a data exchange with this pretty lady about a dog pissing?
Considering the amount of data posted on the web compared with the part actually useful to some, the whole story of internet,
including its fast development, turmoil around it and the way it is marketed, all of this looks like a joke. And this is just the
beginning. Imagine the swarms of people dumping anything they damn well please on the web with the intent of sharing it with
everybody else. This is not going to be just a trash can, this is going to be a planet-wide rubbish dump. And how will a man
benefit from this besides clicking on “great places to check sports and weather”, stealing credit card numbers or blackmailing
institutions of power and money?
We will try to answer this question a bit later . Bit for now let us look at the idea of the network posted by a visionary, mister
Francis H., in his paper ” Towards a Global Brain.” According to him, the development of the web is (will be) of four stages:
First is the creation of a global network which makes possible the communication of many-to-many in a “two way” flow. This
has just happened and is very much different from the old means of communication which allow us to connect one-on-one
(telephone) or one-to-many in “one way flow” (radio, TV).
Second is the incorporation of a learning and thinking process to the web. The network is supposed to learn from the pattern
of its usage and make some of the links more important, “stronger”, and others “weaker”. – Although it is very much
conceivable to include such algorithms in the web, the possible outcome does not look that enthusiastic to me. It looks like a
naked woman with big hooters playing on the stock market with her left hand, and shopping for panties with her right one. This
is what you get when, on the basis of the common interest pattern, you try to teach what is important.
The third stage is called “immersing individuals into the net” and consists, in short, of wearing an easy- to-handle helmet or
other sophisticated brain-to-network interface in order to seamlessly and continuously participate in data exchange. In this way
the “internal” thinking process will completely merge with the “external” to enrich our thoughts. – I think, mister Francis H., that
you watch too much TV and got convinced by the commercials that every intelligent human wants to go to the beach with his
own laptop and cellular phone. I guess the TV clip designers should get a raise.
And the fourth part of the global brain picture is going to be the input of data into the web from all sorts of electronic devices
and from all our fellows citizens’ eyes and ears as well. These are the senses of the Being. – I don’t really know what to say
about that. I’m just not interested in having so many senses. And by no means in having something interpreting everything for
The sketch above on the development of the web makes the answer to our question of the beneficiary of all this very clear. The
global brain is not for me or you, damn ass, it is for itself. Turns out that this fast flow of data between all continents and idiots
aided by incorporated in the web digital intelligence will create a new Super Being. And this is not to benefit anybody in
particular but this Being, and it is an inevitable faith of the evolution of our Galaxy.
There is one more aspect of the internet and the www in particular which I would like to draw your attention to. Some years
ago when this whole business was starting, one of the main advantages to be stressed was the decentralization of information.
The information is dissipated over thousands of computers around the Planet and there is no main or central part which could
govern the rest or be controlled by someone in particular. It sounds like the internet is politically correct, another baby of
democracy. But when you think about it for a while you must notice that the web is (will be) the most centralized activity on
Earth. And the apparent lack of central parts in it comes from the mere fact that the net itself has no parts and no location at all.
The network is one and beyond it there is (will be) nothing else. Well, history teaches that centralization of everything was never
a good idea and that the people never like it in the long run.
Another scary thing about the net is the activity of some jokesters who fart and the stink goes around the Globe. Sooner or
later there will come a big one whose deeds will be very costly. Centralization has its price.
I’m not trying to pick on the contributors of Princypia Cybernetica Web page. I really thing this is a good page and worth
reading. It is well organized, clear, and the papers are interesting. Actually, this is the only such page on philosophy that I
encountered on the www (I admit, didn’t spend too much time browsing, for the reasons mentioned above). And most of all
this page is living.