Stream of consciousness, part one: the Internet

What follows is a completely unfiltered and unedited post on the subject
of the nature of the Internet. This is the first part of an experiment
I’m trying on what is popularly called “stream of consciousness” or
“free writing.” Perhaps you will find something interesting and
comment-worthy; perhaps not. Such is the nature of an experiment.

A commentary on programming and the web.

Java, JavaScript, AJAX, C++, .NET, ASP, all these things are just
different languages that achieve roughly the same end. That end is to
produce something or to explore something, two verbs with ubiquitous
usage throughout history if only in concept.

The web, or more accurately the internet, is a social medium. Unlike
other forms of communication such as artwork or books, the internet is
by and large two-way. This has given rise to the concept of Web 2.0. Web
2.0 is something of a misnomer, though – the Web has always wanted to be
a vehicle for large scale communication. This blog is an example of
that. The earliest versions of the Internet incorporated email and
bulletin board systems. Nothing revolutionary in that, either; it just
meant faster communication.

So then, combining the production of stuff – using programming languages
– and the distribution of stuff (since distribution is a social action),
the Web is nothing more than an extension of the real world. It’s not
particularly fascinating nor particularly original, but it allows us to
interact with more people than might otherwise be possible.

Something that, then, follows from this is that people will through
communication on a larger scale acquire a larger number of experiences
and points of view. Through this, more thought is generated, ultimately
speeding up the discovery process.

Interestingly, the Internet can overcome some traditional barriers of
communication and thereby promote freedom. Certainly the Internet has
been a godsend for the libertarian line of thought. It has also been
highly useful to people like those from Myanmar. By the same token
though, it has also enabled the more extreme edges of society to have a
bigger voice. Disturbing behaviors and lines of thought are present on
the Web where they would not be tolerated in more antiquated types of
communication and literature, such as libraries.

Imagine, if the speed and reach of the Internet is what has
revolutionized the way society interacts….what would society be like
if we were all telepathic?