It is so weird how, in the course of 10 years, you can go from wondering how this elusive, distant news media works with no real way to go behind the scenes and really figure it out to actually having the ability to be news media yourself, and learning it all on the fly. So not only did you not know how they were doing it, but now you do: but you also have the ability now to do the same thing. Because of modern technology. Fucking incredible. Even, say, in the past 20 years, it is unbelievable how much easier it has gotten to be news. 20 years is such a small period of time in the scope of human history. For so long, humans never had the opportunities we have today of delivering information on such a widespread scale. Of course, some religious conservatives may argue that life was better when we were only concerned with scrapping by on bare sustenance while we toiled away in the fields, slaves to the land we were born onto, only caring about our next meal, fighting against religious governments every so often. Those were “the good ol’ days“. “Back when ‘God-fearin” wutn’t just a phrase.” But, for some reason, it is always so easy for many people to overlook the good that is right in front of their face. Even pointing out this relative goodness, as compared to the past, isn’t enough to convince them that it is, in fact, good. Capitalism is aware of this fact more so than anything else.
Setting aside all of the previous technological advances of the past that completely changed humanity, I’m just going to focus on the internet here (and only for a little bit).
The fucking internet has changed everything.
It’s pulled back all of the curtains. It is basically like reading in a newspaper that something called “cars” have been invented in another country, and then, suddenly, you’re learning how to drive on roads yourself. Everyone knows how crazy the internet is, and how revolutionary it is, but damn. I don’t have any words to express just how unique the internet is in human history. Just thinking about papyrus, and parchment, and feathers, and ink (however it was made centuries ago (see? I can even look that up (if I wasn’t so lazy))), to the printing press, and how revolutionary that was in the scheme of human history. The mass printing of paper completely changed the world forever, for the better. I cannot imagine the extent of literature that exists in the world. It’s all because of that fucking Gutenberg Press. That one event just literally changed the world forever. Why in the fuck did it take as long as it did for it to show up?
And now, we have the internet. The new Gutenberg Press. The cat of electronic communication is out of the bag. It feels so surreal to be living through such a significant part of human history. To be one of the first. To be one of the relatively young, and to have, basically, my entire life with this medium. So many are catching it on the tail-end of their lives. I’ll have my whole life with it. There could, of course, be another dark age (something I should really do more research on now that (I can because of the internet) I don’t have my fingers in my ears chanting “God is in control, God is in control”). But it is hard for me to imagine that something as revolutionary as electronic social media could just disappear. One can’t help but be in awe of what we are all experiencing. Sure, the internet may be known for “cat videos“. “How can something so dumb and trivial be so important in the context of human history?” Of course, the internet is much more than cat videos. Much, much more. It is communication on a scale never before available on this planet. Ever. For as long as this planet has been here, there has never been communication as simple to access and as wide-reaching as the communication that exists today. Think of that. Think of all of the ancient texts that didn’t have this. How they were written, distributed. Think of the ones that have been around for centuries, if not a millennium at this point. Hell, even longer than that. How remarkable is it that written ideas could last that long? Now, we have electronic storage. Previously, it was paper. And even then, the words lasted for centuries, if not longer. Think of how hard it would’ve been to make the paper, and then distribute it. By a miracle, they made it to today. Of course, maybe we don’t have an original copy. But the words keep being printed, generation after generation. It truly makes you wonder about the work that editors do, but I digress.
The words keep getting older, but now they’re more easily available than ever before. Reminds me of evolution: survival of the fittest. Perhaps if the words have survived this long, they’re worth a read. Not only is it remarkable in the sense of how old the texts are, but it is easier than ever before to read them. That is truly incredible. We have something here that no one else has ever had. Human history is misery after misery after misery. One has to compare “the old days” to today, because the old days were just horrific. Medicine has changed the world. Production has changed the world. It truly is weird that I am here, on this planet, at this time, and not some time in the past. I could’ve been living with a dirt floor, in a dirt hut, eating and growing potatoes my entire life, using a rock to dig the dirt. No books to read, no meat to eat. Just eat potatoes and then die at 30 (if I’m lucky) from some disease. And that just happens again, and again, and again. But the fact that we are where we are today speaks to human ingenuity. It speaks to the humans of the past, who just wanted easier ways of doing things, or just happened upon them by means only God can understand. All of the stepping stones have led us to where we are today. They had it rough, and made it so much easier on us. We truly are blessed to have a life force, and to have it be alive today. We’re the luckiest people in history. In. History. That’s a pretty long damn time. How can that not instill awe?
The sad thing for me is that I have, so often in my life, not been able to appreciate the reality that was in front of me. I grew up thinking the world was this evil, sinful place to avoid. And it has caused me to avoid a good perspective on humanity; a good perspective on history, on the sciences, and everything else that religion always fucks up. A good perspective on relationships, sexuality: it has tainted my vision for so long that I still cling to it. Even while learning, it still clings to me. I suppose that at least being aware of it is a good thing. But I can only imagine what my perspective of the world would’ve been if I would’ve never been introduced to religious conservatism. I can only imagine it would’ve been a whole lot holier and more fulfilling than the way it has been almost my entire life. When my perspective is not being tainted by a history of religious conservatism, I can only imagine what my perspectives are going to be regarding the life I am living at the time. I can’t wait to see how it’s all going to play out for me. Incredible.
The internet shows what men can accomplish through freedom. That, perhaps, is the biggest lesson of all of this. This truly speaks to the geniuses who created these things, regardless of how much of the future they could envision.
Sometimes, the most beautiful thing is the right perspective.