14 July 2015

quinara: Owl from Meg and Mog looking a bit scared. (Meg and Mog Owl eyes)
People of the internet, oh, this makes me sad.

The Web We Have to Save

An Iranian blogger after six years in prison talks about the internet he remembers and the internet he's found on coming out.

But the Stream, mobile applications, and moving images: They all show a departure from a books-internet toward a television-internet. We seem to have gone from a non-linear mode of communication — nodes and networks and links — toward a linear one, with centralization and hierarchies.

The web was not envisioned as a form of television when it was invented. But, like it or not, it is rapidly resembling TV: linear, passive, programmed and inward-looking.

When I log on to Facebook, my personal television starts. All I need to do is to scroll: New profile pictures by friends, short bits of opinion on current affairs, links to new stories with short captions, advertising, and of course self-playing videos. I occasionally click on like or share button, read peoples’ comments or leave one, or open an article. But I remain inside Facebook, and it continues to broadcast what I might like. This is not the web I knew when I went to jail. This is not the future of the web. This future is television.

The thing is, I can see it even in the way that this post is just an advert for this blog with a link. In 2008 I would never have posted a naked link like the one above, but I almost just did right now. It seems quaint to bother writing the tags to mask to give it a title, even. (ETA: And heck, even did it wrong the first time.) Oh, I am sad. No one writes with punctuation anymore, or capitals. incl. me


quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)

December 2015

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