The world’s getting smaller every day.
All those people squashed into Facebook, all that compressed data – soon it’ll be denser in here than a Neutron Star. A zillion Twitter profiles – petabytes of shite – crammed into a single server that weighs more than the moon.
It won’t always look this way, the internet.
At the moment, it’s still young; a petulant, acne-scared teenager getting hassled by its parents to find a job. Won’t be long ‘til it starts wearing a suit and gets vertically-integrated with all the other media kids. Eventually it’ll get hitched to some sexy-looking pan-global conglom and spawn lots of little baby internets. And they’ll all put on weight and live happily ever after in some vast, middle-aged Mall With No Name.
The internet will change over time, just like Radio, TV, Films and Music did before it. This is just a phase it’s going through. A bit of token teenage rebellion. It’s trying to maintain the illusion of independence and non-conformity while still living with its mum. Whatever the Internet turns into – whether it’s powered by the Souls of The Recently Departed or it’s hosted on yoghurt-pots and string – is pretty much irrelevant.
Networks are made up of people.
The internet is the back-end. We are the front.
We are not defined by iPhones or in thrall to our Apps. One day, when all this is just broken, smoking ruins and Humankind v 8.6.3 is being farmed by a species of sentient woodlice, there will still be networks. Our sad-eyed Hobbit-like descendants will communicate in cryptic pictograms scratched on strips of bark.
“Ghkrsssh-krkkt-kraaah?” Our armadillidiidic enslavers will torture us horribly; they’ll wave their uropods belligerently and squirt us with formic acid. But our future Hobbitform-selves will just smile beatifically and keep passing those pieces of bark back-and-forth while they arm themselves and plan The Great Uprising.
Like Hobbits, individual human-beings are kinda useless and cute, but together – in a network – we’re incredible.
Here’s just a few of the folks in my own local network. Random nodes in a world gone mad. They’re all amazing people; you’d like them.
Loki, Jonny Mugwump, Woebot, Dom, Tim, Shaky, Ekoplekz, Pete Um, 2ndFade, Kemper Norton, Darren, Nochexxx, Stief, Glen, Bram, Bart Sloow, Ernesto, Peverelist, John, Pete, Ron and the guys from Sunburned Hand of The Man, John Eden, James Kirby, Jimmyjack Toth, Rudy, Martin, Marx’s Beard, Stagger Lee, Nelson / Gala Drop, Erkki … ripples in a pond; rings inside a tree. Where will it all it end?
I didn’t really want to talk about myself, but there’s two of us in Hacker Farm, so tough. Two: that’s a network, right? We make stuff out of nothing, from junk. Magician shit. You can do that too.
Now stop reading this and go and do something incredible.
Write something. Make some art. Make a bloody racket.
Talk to your friends, build a network.
Then go and stomp on some fucking woodlice.
Kek-w is a writer and musician, a frequent contributor to Rudy Rucker’s FLURB and, whether he cops to it or not, an important altculture node in his own right, and I’m fucking delighted he found the time to write to you today.
- GUEST INFORMANT: Ian Hodgson (warrenellis.com)
- GUEST INFORMANT: Charlie Huston (warrenellis.com)
- GUEST INFORMANT: Si Spurrier (warrenellis.com)
- THREE PANELS: Pia Guerra (warrenellis.com)