The Iron Web
I can’t always put my finger on it, but I’ve had this peculiar feeling recently. I navigate between the same sites, occasionally clicking through to something new, but only for a brief moment in the grand scheme of it all. It feels so comfortable, but in an uneasy sort of way. Where has the wanderlust gone? I remember a time when you’d set off on the internet, as if on some kind of voyage. It was exciting and full of opportunity. Perhaps it was the very thing that gave the internet a bad name. The internet felt wild and untamed. What was once malleable now feels rigid, and thus fragile. The Iron Web.
We’ve created categories, boundaries and singular entities. We’ve designed it to be fragmented; we’ve built walls, put up fences and dug ditches. We’ve taken so much of what we know not to work in the history of humanity and we’ve forced it upon billions. Despite the incredible collaborative possibility of the web we’ve decided to keep secrets.
Google looks determined, Facebook is planning something, Apple is Apple and Twitter appears confidently alone. The very fact that it has come down to a handful of big companies epitomises my point. This has had a huge institutionalising effect on the order of the internet. We need to embrace a mentality of total consideration. If we believe in a true revolution of values, we need to stop in our tracks and go back to the start, and with great intent reset the assumptions we’ve inherited. The indoctrination.