Ahhh… the Internet… where to start?
The last great hope for humanity? A refuge for dissidents? The roots of a more “democratic” world?
We don’t think so.
The Internet is at best a tool—it’s something that can be used to spread information and perhaps learn a few things. Obviously, you know that.
But there’s another side to the story. The Internet is an isolating world. It depends on fragmentation and segmentation: you use your computer to tell your “story” (perhaps an endless stream of “status updates” and “Tweets” about your or your “friends” breakfasts). It depends on isolation into various “nodes” and “communities,” all of which exist entirely outside reality. “Reality” on the Internet means sitting in your room, or at a desk, or on a phone projecting experiences elsewhere—not in your immediate environment. It’s an amazing form of social control: all too many of us satisfy our deepest desires with representations of reality, while a handful of corporations and governments revel in their power to survey, quantify, and sell our “lives.”
Our dreams lie in the “real” world. What we’re talking about here—anarchy—can’t happen online. It’s dependent on real interactions and actions in our lives and in our communities. And once we’ve won, we’ll look back and wonder why anyone ever thought the Internet was such a great idea.