One of my favorite Bowie moments (I’m a massive Bowie fan):
Short but fascinating-to-ponder pilgrim’s progress piece…
And maybe my desire to submerge myself in that sediment, to weave The Cloud into the timelines of railroad robber-barons and military R&D, emerges from the same anxiety that makes me go try to find these buildings in the first place: that maybe we have mistaken The Cloud’s fiction of infinite storage capacity for history itself. It is a misunderstanding that hinges on a weird, sad, very human hope that history might actually end, or at least reach some kind of perfect equipoise in which nothing terrible could ever happen again. As though if we could only collate and collect and process and store enough data points, the world’s infinite vaporware of real-time data dashboards would align into some kind of ultimate sand mandala of total world knowledge, a proprietary data nirvana without terror or heartbreak or bankruptcy or death, heretofore only gestured towards in terrifying wall-to-wall Accenture and IBM advertisements at airports.
I’m archiving this snippet and article to revisit in 2020… I wonder if we’ll look back on 2015 as a “tipping point” of the internet as we knew it?
The Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace by John Perry Barlow in 1996 does seem like a long ago dream.
Perhaps immediacy is not a democratizing state of being for modern humans? Literalism is the enemy of imagination, after all.
The Internet’s Loop of Action and Reaction Is Worsening – The New York Times: “Hear me out. If you’ve logged on to Twitter and Facebook in the waning weeks of 2015, you’ve surely noticed that the Internet now seems to be on constant boil. Your social feed has always been loud, shrill, reflexive and ugly, but this year everything has been turned up to 11. The Islamic State’s use of the Internet is perhaps only the most dangerous manifestation of what, this year, became an inescapable fact of online life: The extremists of all stripes are ascendant, and just about everywhere you look, much of the Internet is terrible.”