This a follow up to the post I did 10 days ago on February 12 and entitled “Happy New Year of the Tiger and Other Thoughts about Cars” ( II ). If you have not listened yet to the first episode of that very series called “Happy New Year of the Tiger and Other Thoughts about Cars” then I invite to start with the first episode of the series of the same title and posted on February 7. (Keep listening here)
These posts in the series called “Happy New Year of the Tiger and Other Thoughts about Cars” are sort of personal meditations and thoughts about cyberspace. These are thought experiments where I try to grasp the enormous technological shift that we witnessing right now in the world and try to translate them into my own words and expressions. I try to avoid technical aspects as much as I can in order to open different gateways of understanding about what is really happening here. It’s something I am trying to do for myself and figured that I might as well share it as much as I can. And if you want to understand why “Tiger” and why “car”, well, all you have to do is to go back to the first post on February 7.
So look at that street where you’re walking in right now. If you happen to listen while driving, then I urge you to really pay attention to the traffic in front of you and only do what I am about to tell you when you will actually take a walk. So, provided you are taking a walk, look around you and stop for a moment and observe what is happening. Right at this very moment trillions of digital connections are taking place. They are all happening in cyberspace and some of them may be related to the very place where you are standing right now. They are connected to that place, that very moment, either directly or indirectly.
Whatever it is that these connections are related to, they are happening in this invisible world that is right there in front of you. They may be about the Internet connection that is taking place right from your phone at this very moment. They also could be related to the gas consumption that is taking place in that house right there to the left. The gas utility company is measuring the consumption at that very house one fraction of a second after another. Whatever the modalities for that measure could be, this very operation generates data. It could also be about a car that is passing through after having stopped at the red light behind you. The driver is connected to the Internet through his or her smartphone and that too is generating digital impulses that travel throughout the vast web of the Internet.
So I could go on and on about what is happening right there in front of you as you’re walking in your street.
It’s like those webs that spiders weave across space. It’s no coincidence that we call it the web when we refer to the internet.
In fact, I even wonder why we are using that word. Why didn’t we take another name? That word “inter” and “net” is not that fortuitous. The other day I was looking at my garden and saw all those webs that that spiders create secretly across corners and across space. And the more I kept watching and observing, the more I realized that those spiders are like the Internet. I noticed how the more I looked, the more I saw those translucid fishnets that I wouldn’t have noticed had I just kept passing without really taking a pause to observe what’s around me. Some of those webs are pretty big and can span very long distances.
In fact, the silk in spider webs has been recognized to be stronger than steel and even surpasses the elasticity of nylon. So we are using those words, internet, web, world wide web, in reference to what spiders are familiar with. It implies a sense of ever presence, of a reality that surrounds us and in which we bathe, like the plasma of blood. It interconnects and affects anything it touches. So as you walk down the street, take a look all around you, and you’ll notice how you as a person and the house that uses the utility network are both connected that same web, just like in a spider web, where every single nod belongs to a whole that creates that single net.
It’s like a spirit but also invites us to pay attention to the nature of these webs. Nature is always very instructive and that regard it always tends to teach us, if we just take the time to observe.
Let me know you your thoughts and comment here. I will reply to you.