It is fascinating to think of all of the different artistic things created throughout human history. The number of writings, songs, etc. The fact that music almost 40 years old is still listened to; that writing 60, 100, 180 years old is still read.
I have this weird fear of things like the internet disappearing. When something is good, surely something bad is going to happen, and wipe it out, right? I fear that the internet is a fad: that things are eventually going to disappear as time goes along. All the good stuff just gone, and we’re left with destitution and misery. Much like the Dark Ages. (Don’t tell me that the world wouldn’t end just because the internet disappears. Please tell me you aren’t so stupid as to not understand my point).
But I desire to develop a new perspective about art and history. I hope that things put on the internet last forever. That the internet lasts forever. That it becomes a medium as resilient as the book. Radio. Television. That the songs put on it remain in people’s ears for 30, 50 years. That the comedy put on it leaves an impression like “Da Bears”. I think that with any new medium (don’t split hairs: the internet’s popularity is relatively “new” regardless of how long it has been around), there’s reservations. I’m sure that, throughout history, when a new technology came along, people thought it was a fad. That it would disappear. Even if they didn’t want it to. But the fact that they didn’t want it to helped keep it alive. Producers kept producing what the consumers wanted. That’s how capitalism works.
This gives me hope for the internet. A lot of the common thoughts about the internet that exist today will be gone tomorrow. Because it is still so relatively new, people are experiencing it differently than they will once it is established, in my opinion. Being able to read and write joke after joke, and share it with people, is a very interesting thing. Before the internet, how did you tell your jokes? Did you even have any? Did you even invest the time to think about them due to the fact that it was much harder to share them with anyone? How did you tell them if you did? Joke with friends? Stand-up if you were really serious about it? Being fortunate enough to enter television as a writer, actor, etc.? But the internet has completely changed the entertainment game. Much like the transition from live theatre performances to television. The internet is going to change all forms of media. Other forms of media, like terrestrial radio, and, especially, television, are having to compete with the internet. (And they are going to lose, unless they successfully lobby to censor the internet). There are new celebrities being created, new talents discovered and honed, and a wealth of comedy unlike the world has ever seen.
There’s one thing that I’m quite fearful of regarding censorship on the internet. I have never talked about it because I have feared that I’d give “the elites” nefarious ideas, but the truth is that they already have them, so speaking out only informs the public that stands the best chance of combating that nefariability. Let’s use Youtube as an example. Let’s compare it to television and terrestrial radio. In television and radio, the FCC limits certain words from being transmitted over the airwaves. I’m no expert in this field, but, apparently, if you broadcast certain words over the radio, or television at certain times of day, you can lose your license. Am I wrong about this? If I’m not, what is the license for, exactly? I think it is to broadcast at a certain wavelength without interference. I’m not too sure. I have often thought the government was somehow trying to impose its own moralistic sensibilities upon free speech with regards to the FCC. But maybe there’s more to the story than that. Regardless, the internet is different. It’s quite weird to me. Certain cusswords are always censored over the radio. On television, they are censored most of the time, but it depends on the channel, and, sometimes, even on the time of day. But the internet is completely different. People cuss constantly on the internet. And it’s great. People are free to produce and consume what they want. There will never be a time more free in the internet’s history than right now. As time goes along, more and more government restrictions will be placed on it. That’s simply how “progress” works, even if it’s horrible. The libertarianism on the internet is fantastic. It should be cherished. Want to watch Youtube videos where there is no cussing? Just type in “no cussing” with whatever else it is you are looking for. There’s always a supply to meet the demand. There will never be a time of greater free expression on the internet than today. This makes me very sad, but I appreciate today. I hope we keep forced censorship off of the internet forever. Its impact cannot be measured enough.
I am very interested to see how it all goes, and I hope to contribute a little bit to this “internet world”.
I hope it never goes away.
I feel like the internet is very easily dismissed by people, say, 40 and older. At least, it just feels that way. Of course, there are elderly people that understand the power of the internet. Maybe they were some of the ones that contributed to the infrastructure. But, as is always the case, the elderly are the slowest to adopt to the new technologies.
It is interesting to think that people in their 40s today will, if they live to be 80, have spent 40 years on the internet. What changes will be made to the internet by then? It’s also interesting to think of the 50 year olds that will be on the internet then. What will the children who have spent their entire lives on the internet be like? For some reason, old people like to condemn kids that spend too much time in front of “screens”. It doesn’t matter that television has been around since the 40s, movies before that, and that children ever since then have been glued to “screens”. “Oh, but the screen wasn’t that close to their face,” you may say. You’re overreacting. It always is the case that older generations worry about the “younger generations”. That’s just how it is. I do, and will do, the same thing. It’s part of the natural flow.
But it is interesting to think about. I have often heard about how technology has changed people’s lives, but I’ve never really sat and thought about it. Not just “technology” by today’s common vernacular, but things like cars, sewing machines, etc. Technology is here to stay, and it always will be. Barring a complete one world government takeover that lasts for generations or natural disaster where all prior knowledge is completely destroyed, and we must start human development from scratch, like Adam and Eve, technology is here to stay. And that gives me immense comfort.
There’s also always an envy of the younger generations by the older generations. “Back in my day, we had to walk uphill both ways.” That isn’t completely untrue. Older generations always have had it harder. And it is understandable why they would be resentful of younger generations that really do have it easier in many ways. It really does make you feel pity for those that were raised during times when “modern” conveniences didn’t even exist. At least some of them are content anyway. That’s all we can ever really ask for, isn’t it? Contentment. It’s also sad to think of all of those who are missing out not only on the internet, but a warm meal. There just always has to be someone getting fucked over by life. It has always been that way, and it always will be. There is no perfect solution to make everyone happy all of the time. But there certainly remains something to be said for those that lend a helping hand in the moment.
I can’t wait to continue to be moulded by “modern technology” (currently, the internet, in particular) and see how it affects me as the years go on. I can’t wait to see the advancements, and the forms of art created through various technological means.
This is a much healthier perspective to have about technology than condemning it because of “kids these days” (this is a very good video, by the way). I’m going to continue contributing various things to servers, and I hope that everyone else continues to do the same.
I can’t wait to see where all of this goes, and how it affects me.
Also, I’m not going to go into detail about it here, but I’m interested to see how copyright and the internet play out over time. What happens to “fair use”, torrenting, etc. Very interested in seeing how all of this plays out.
What a time to be alive.
(I have also failed to mention the political implications of advancements in technology, such as the NSA. I’ll have to go into detail about that at a future time, however).
There’s one more thing I want to mention about the internet, and that is advertising. Along with copyright issues, and the ever-present threat of government tyranny, advertising (or, specifically, adblocking) present the greatest possibility for changes to the internet. Older people do not know about adblocking like the younger generations do. Tech-savvy people know more about it than “the average person”. But as time goes along, more and more people will be using adblockers. Of course, the coders who get paid through advertisements are going to develop new ways around the adblockers. But, the adblockers will continue developing new ways around the adblocker blockers. Will it some day be illegal to install an adblocker? Is it already illegal in some countries? How will they ultimately affect the internet? Youtube is already attempting to respond. That’s why they are offering “Youtube Red”. They’re missing out on a lot of money. What are they going to do when, inevitably, no one uses Youtube Red? All they can do, it seems, is code around the adblockers. Find out how they work, and get around them. And, of course, the adblockers will do the same thing. Back and forth, back and forth. It has been reported that Youtube is unprofitable, and it’s understandable why. It’s because of the adblockers, and because of the operating costs of the number of servers that they must have to keep Youtube what it is, etc. There are costs involved in creating a free platform where anyone can upload pretty much anything. Google bought Youtube, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they sell it. To Yahoo, maybe? Wouldn’t that be a shit video platform. How are they ultimately going to recoup money lost by adblockers? No doubt, they will attempt to keep coding around the coders attempting to code around them.
Clearly, the advertisers are paying for the “free and open” internet.
Once again, the fate of the internet is a very interesting thing indeed.
And the market will figure it out, as it always does, as long as we don’t give governments too much power.