I stare into blue light. In the right environment, it's almost blinding. The phosphors are too bright. I'm tracing trails. The trails left not casually, but very, very deliberately.
The trails lead to places, some are gold shiny metal, some are just dull fluid that flow through your hands, like mercury. When I hit gold, I jump from my chair and yelp ``YIPPEE, YAHOO!'' I finally find what I am looking for on the internet.
For most of you will see the above paragraph as some kind of illuminating, enlightening description of the wonderful space that defines the 'net. I don't. "I call it CRAP - and it gets me very irritated, because it is not logical" - Monty Python.
- the net is like a Walgreeens, and the browser is like the cashier.
- the net is like a ocean, and we are the trawlers.
- the net will be a highway, and the stops and attractions along the way will be...
The net is not like anything. It's could be shit, if you pick it up, it sometimes leaves a bad stain (or was it a blob?). But it does change the way we behave.
WE BECOME DOGS.
The primary goal of any surfer is first and foremost information. We use the net for that reason and that reason alone. The community of the net makes this a very realistic goal. To find information: consult experts in the field. The net has a plethora of experts, (read: people willing to spout and spew on demand (COUNT ME IN ON THIS CROWD)). For any real surfer, they come here for info FIRST. How many of us go to the library first eh? Not me! The question for me is: How effective is the net really?
- How much information that is original, verifiable and accurate is out there?
- Who has that information?
- How easy is it to find?
- Can I get it for free?
This last question would be the most important!
Instead of looking at the 'net and saying what it is like, let's look at what it makes us.
PEOPLE AND NOSES
We don't consider the first question. We dive in, and sniff around. We look for places with more activity than others. If we get close to what we are looking for, we jump around a whole lot, or sniff around there some more, trying to sample local amines and aldehydes for relevant info.
Information doesn't grow on trees ya know - it takes time to hunt it down. When you do find it, lift your leg, and spray all over it - make sure you mark it good and thoroughly, because there are others out there, and you gotta protect your investment in time and energy.
- Alice - TELL ALL the neighbors - I FOUND IT FIRST!
- YAHOO - I found it - but actually, it was too easy.
Basically, we take other peoples pre-fab information and throw it against a wall and watch it until it comes back down. One of the surveys on the 'net actually claimed that there were more women than men. I took this to mean that more women had vision enough to fill out the survey than did men. Ted Kennedy is scheduled for an online chat, but you only REALLY get the VR if you've had too many martini's, or have inhaled FOR Clinton.
THE LAND OF FAMILIARITY.
More so than other experiences, the net is based on what makes you comfortable. I know people that hate Lycos, I also know people that hate AOL, that doesn't stop them though. It's those god awful Microsoft haters that are the worst, aren't they petulent and superficial? We like what we like and by damned there's no stopping us.
- ALICE - The drapes, Alice! I come home, and the drapes are purple... Alice!
The thing is - this is easy to do... Its easy to make the terrain familiar, and only go where you've been before. When you're hot on the scent of the killer information, it's because of your familiarity with where you are and where you've been. But, you've smelled all this before. Once you have marked your place boy, then the fun really starts - you can go back and see who else has marked it. Gee - isn't this fun?
SPACE PLACE AND ME
When we finally get around to building our place in this metamorphological techno-dream, we rely too much on what we have seen and where we have been. We become homogenized in big dog manure pile that is the result of the output of the 'net. Our pages look the same, our sig's look similar, and our e-mail addresses are alike. We are safe, like a pack of dogs - we feel strength in our union, but un-unique.