#1: the real internet is a fake
February 18, 2017
Truth #1 is a deceptively simple start and intentionally so. It mirrors in its construction two organizing structures and conventions of the internet and the social media it spawns: namely, 1) that one of many paradoxes structure the place and its experiences and 2) that its user-experienced minimalism hides complexity (among other things):
- What is the “real” internet? It is hard to see and thus hard to say. Is the internet the corporate overlay where the vast majority of us play? The protocols, controls and networks that underwrite this? The governments, corporations, and tech companies that own and write it? The deep web that sits below all that?
- What is the “fake” internet? It is hard to see and thus hard to say. Is the internet the empowering, intoxicating illusions of freedom, democracy, self-expression, and openness that have been intentionally linked to an ease of use, abundance, and play thereby hiding its darker corporate, censorious, surveilled, controlled nature?
- Why aphorisms? Like tweets, they can pack a wallop and they move swiftly and easily in relation to the norms of contemporary internet use. I suggest that they function with more power, and usefullness (at least for movements of social change), when they are associated with, and linked to, the complexity that comes with research, writing, data, community and context (see below):
#100hardtruths-#fakenews, see deeper:
- Protocol, Control, and Networks, by Alexander Galloway and Eugene Thacker
“Via Deleuze, Galloway and Thacker map our meaningful counter-protocols of current networked life.” Recommended by Harry Gilbert as part of a reading list created by Graduate Students in “Activism and Digital Culture,” University of Southern California, Department of Cinema, Professor Tara McPherson, November 2016
- On Software, or the Persistence of Visual Knowledge, by Wendy Hui Kyong Chun
Recommended by Harry Gilbert
- My own Learning from YouTube, where I offer 10 such structuring contradictions for YouTube and the internet more broadly, only one of which is Real/Parody.