WOKE UP TOO OFTEN LAST NIGHT STOP PHONE RANG IN MIDDLE OF NIGHT STOP SPENT TOO MUCH TIME LOOKING AT NEW BLOGS THIS MORNING STOP CANNOT STOP IRRELEPHANT END
So why am I writing like an old Western Union telegram? Because this is the internet, and people are allowed to be different here, and that's what I'm on about this morning.
I love difference. It makes things interesting. And the internet has done nothing if not show other people how different their neighbors actually are, and surprisingly, how similiar they are to us, too. This thing has linked millions and millions of people who otherwise would never have met in any fashion or forum, and made them hate each other.
For instance. Just Curious is a website dedicated solely to anonymous questions and their answers. You go to the site, answer one randomly selected question, then you get to ask one. They have guidelines as to what should and shouldn't be posted, it's moderated by the readers themselves, and that's it.
Sounds marvelous, right? A free exchange of information? Yeah, right. So's the internet. Instead of being a wonderful exchange of information it's a sounding board for popularity contests, flaming, and for people who never grew up past the 'playing in their own filth' stage. I have never seen a larger collection of people in my life who are determined to be the little boy or girl who stands in a chair in a crowded restraunt and shouts obscenities just for the reaction she'll get. That is unless you count usenet, or the entire irc system. Or any chatroom for that matter. It's the same wherever you look--80% barely literate mouth-breathers, 19% instigators, and one lonely percent of people who thought they might, like Diogenes holding aloft a digital lantern, find something decent and good.
Free speech is an incredible thing. So is common sense and politeness, but they're not used for much good anymore either. And yes I'm angry and bitter, but that's only because there's nothing I can do about it. Powerlessness. The internet gives everyone a nearly seamless cover of anonyminity, and through that cover people open their mouths and minds and leave on message boards and discussion groups things that make the bathroom wall scrawls in gas station restrooms look positively angelic. All because they can, and if they're really lucky some poor sod comes along and decides to fight them, which tosses gasoline on the fire. They might as well try and pick a fight with the wind, for all the good they're going to accomplish.
I think our mistake was made when we were evolving as sentient beings and decided to develop things like moral codes, the concepts of right and wrong, and laws preventing us from killing anyone we wanted to. If we had not invented all that well-intentioned rubbish then perhaps by this time we would have managed to competely erradicate ourselves from the face of this little planet and all that would be left would be some of our stone tools and things, and whatever species is next behind us could go ahead and evolve into supremacy.
The dolphins and whales, perhaps, could have evolved far enough along that THEY took over after we snuffed it as a species, and perhaps furthermore they could perfect a way of destroying landmasses and converting the rubble into hydrogen and oxygen, so that the Earth would have a real lack of earth and a superabundance of water, sort of like Kevin Costner's "Waterworld," only without so much Kevin Costner and not so sucky.
Or maybe the movie "Empire Of The Ants" is more along the lines of what would have happened, and all the world would be nothing but tunnels and galleries and shining red bodies, like Frank Herbert's Hellstrom's Hive, which is as good as Dune and deserves a place on your bookshelf.
But unfortunately until Iraq develops nuclear weapons we won't be in any danger of mutual extinction. We missed a golden opportunity with the Cold War--all it would have taken would have been one barely grown airman in a bunker somewhere to mis-read a practice drill to launch the entire fleet of missles, or a tired comrade over there smoking a black market Marlboro who happened to sit on the wrong control panel and "PAFF," all the world's problems would be solved; no more hunger, poverty, or internecine conflict, and what remains of the race would go back to 'Quest For Fire' days, and the roaches could assume their rightful place as leaders and shapers of the destiny and future of Earth.
Someone needs to invent a super-virus to destroy the internet now, before it becomes sentient.