The Internet28 July 2007
Relatively speaking computers have only been around for a very short while - and the internet even more so. Yet the differences they have made to our lives has been radical and unprecedented. For something to effect such change in such a short space of time makes one wonder where it will all lead?
But what exactly are computers and what exactly does the internet do? At the most basic level are they not anything more than information tools? Like paints and paper to the artist, they’re no more than mediums. With all the multimedia, news updates, games and emails, it’s easy to think that computers are prolific creators of audio-visual stimulation. However, what if we’re mistaking the message for the messenger? What if it wasn’t computers that were creating this unprecedented proliferation of information, but rather it was simply that, like never before, computers and the internet were opening up a panorama onto the universes of creativity that are already there?
What if it wasn’t computers that are changing the world, but it’s just that we are, for the first time, collectively bearing witness to the ceaseless evolutionary changes that are always going on? That computers were nothing more than windows, (in the non-Microsoft sense!). This would mean that computers and the internet aren’t really ‘heading’ anywhere. The seeming exponential growth of a young technological seed will never mature into it’s final state because it is already fully functioning in it’s capacity to simply uncover, reveal and communicate. A window does not ‘create’ the tree and fields which can be seen through it - although a bigger and cleaner window will allow us to see more and in more detail.
However, the interesting thing that the panoramic vistas of the internet may lead to is that we could, as a group, see this. That rather than the internet being the doorway to a new realm it is more a new perspective on the universe we’ve already met. Okay, so this new perspective may seem like an uncharted realm, but is it not that the more we listen to, and the clearer we hear our world, the more likely we are to begin to consider that newness is actually an inextricable part of living? That the internet only seems new and uncharted because it amplifies and reflects the newness that is ever-present? A newness that, for as long as the past is behind us and the future ahead of us, will never diminish.