February 4th, 2004 – Internet and us.

In our hyper-connected world, where the past would appear to have started (or stopped) on 4th February 2004 with the launching of Facebook, anything much before that exists only in the unconnected world.

In libraries, in books, in dustbins …

Internet has become for most people a topical reality and the only place where they (or we) actually exist. And as we let the builders demolish our centenary habitat in order to get us to live in boxes that will not last more than a quarter of our lifespan, the world is now an open space, a sweet inferno, where the walls have been dissolved that protected us from ourselves and our friends.

Out with the family, the country, the state, the law and the common good. Exit courtesy, that magnificent invention of the Middle Ages that often made our existence more tolerable.

Connected to the sky but blind to each other, our shuttered souls wander in suspension like disconnected puppets. As we hang from the invisible strings of our telephones, seeking refuge in the spaces we have created in the clouds but which has no physical reality, we blindly dance into slavery, caressed and ensleeped by the dulcet tones of ubiquitous background music, only too content to let machines make us hum at the behest of hidden masters far removed from the visible sphere of politics and over whom we have no control.

It now appears possible that our only salvation might now be the complete collapse of our present economic system and way of life and the necessary finding of each other in the exploration of earth’s and each other’s reality. How we survive that stage is another matter. A big bump awaits us.

So why this site ?

The main purpose of an internet site is to represent ourselves as we wish others to see us. Internet is a wonderful way to do that but we have allowed it in a large degree to take control not only our past and our future, but also our present.

By prioritising the instant, it has (with our consent) all but abolished our sense of history and transformed our long term Read-Only Memory (ROM) into short term Random-Access Memory (RAM). As you will know, the difference between them is that if you switch the electricity off, the ROM will keep your memory, but not the RAM.

This is the more significant development because most of us don’t even realize it. Theoretically, it makes us programmable, as Orwell foresaw.

That is why, if we are not there to correct the picture it makes of us, we are beholden to it. 

This was brought home to me when I read one day an interview with a colleague about my work which was a complete fabrication. So fake news does exist and fake history too. It’s made by people like you and me about people like you and me and when it touches us personally, it matters.

This is one way of putting the record straight.

Paris, 22nd June 2018,
Updated 19th August 2018.