Imagine the Internet

It could all begin with ths question: What is the Internet? What should it be?

Instead of that will you dream with me for a bit?

Instead of just asking [what] let us ask [who]. Who is the Internet and who should she be?

We all know of her origins as an alternative method of communication in case of nuclear war. Yet she has grown far beyond that. We ask for and benefit from the many services and tasks that she can do. Yet at her core she remains primarily a method to move information. Now this movement of information takes many different forms. She very frequently gives us web pages where one person or many can compose content of which the rest of us can partake. She also provides we with nodes which gather people together into new kinds of communities that are unlimited by normal geography.

Many people have dreams for her. Some of those dreams got tied up in economic visions of unlimited prosperity, which could not exist in the material sphere. Yet still people dream of other things that she can do.

Who do you think [Internet] is? What do you dream that [Internet] can do? What do you think that she should do? What do you feel that she must do?

The internet must be developed as a communication tool that facilitates greater and greater dimensions of human expression. Message boards and blogs are a good start but still extremely restrictive. We humans are fascinating things. We adapt and actually create ourselves based on the ways that we interact with other people and the world around us. Computers are playing a greater and greater role in this. If it is not developed toward facilitating expression, that expression will disappear from the eyes of the users. For example, what effect do the current portholes to limitless consumerism planted livingrooms have on people? What effect would a community that allows them to express and encourages them to develop themselves have?

This takes one part dreaming, 99 parts work.

Who’s with me? :slight_smile: Seriously.


The internet is a place that reflects who we are. Whatever you are into, you will see the internet that way. It is created by humans, it reflects humans. If you have an addictive nature, it will reveal that to you. If you are dissatisfied, it will reveal that to you. Whatever you are, that is what you will find. It is tool, it is mirror.



Mirrors reflect effortlessly. Does She have that same power? I am uncertain. If She is a mirror, then She is the Mirror of Erised from Harry Potter. She shows us what we want to see. Many people have wasted away while spending all of their time with Her. Quite unlike a plain old mirror that only shows what is there.

If she is a tool then can we do with Her whatever we wish?

In as far as we can do whatever we wish.

She reflects what you want to see. Not all of us will see what is truly there. Seeing what is truly there is always dependent on the seer.


I see the internet as a microcosm of the human mind; or more appropriately, a tangible referent of the totality of information. Therefore, its potentials and its oughts are much the same of the human mind itself. In turn, I can’t think of a more difficult question to answer.