Is there anything NOT on the Internet? I mean, really. I just spent the last 20 minutes in a link-clicking frenzy in blog-land. Seriously. I had to back up eleven pages to remember how I’d gotten there. One minute, I was checking out some serious craft in the world of indie-knitting, and the next thing I know, I’m on a YouTube video of Argentine kids screaming in fear at a gnome. Seriously. I’m not making this stuff up. In the span those few minutes, I had also seen David Byrne’s newsletter, a recipe for blood orange sorbet, a knitted sweater in various stages of completion, a Rob Base video, old books made into journals, someone making pizza dough, and the abovementioned kids scared of a gnome. I’d hyperlink all that crap, but, well, I’m lazy, and you, well, you have Google, don’t you?
It got me to thinking:
a) my attention span has begun to rival that of a thirteen year old
b) there is absolutely nothing I can’t find on the web
And I’m not saying that in a “When i was your age, sonny….” sort of way either. What i mean is- well, it’s hard to sum up. Is there ANY experience that hasn’t yet been blogged about, wikipedia’d, databased, web paged or otherwise cyber-catalogued? Doesn’t it blow your mind to think about how many different angles there are available to you about anything anywhere? For instance: I saw (on one of the sites I was on) a picture of a half-completed guerrilla art project on a pier in NYC. Now, there must be some blog somewhere by some artist who’d told the world that she was going to paint some barnacled bundle of wood in New York… and now, in addition to that one piece of information about the intent, there is a picture of that project, half completed, and a little blurb to go with it. And that’s only one angle. Who knows if someone else didn’t snap a picture from a different angle that same day, and write up a little blurb on her blog- or didn’t take a picture at all, but wrote a little something about his walk along the water… or maybe he didn’t write about the art project per se, but instead was inspired to paint something himself and then post that picture online… which sparked someone else’s commentary on some other site… do you see what I mean? We’re never just watching kids scream at gnomes. We’re participating in this viral experience of the world. Every time we click, we’re taking part in a massive social experiment to see if we can take it all in… all this information, all this experience.
When those rebels suddenly abandoned their paintbrushes and paints that day on the pier, did they think that someone might come along and snap a digital picture of their stuff and then write a blog entry about it? I don’t know. But here it is, for the world to see and read about. It seems like that IS something you need to consider whenever you do ANYthing these days. Remember when you could just plant a garden or decorate your room or cut the sleeves off your shirt and that was that? Nowadays, the impulse to DO is inextricably linked to the compulsion to document it all.
It all screams of our very human need to seen and heard, doesn’t it? Makes you want to add another thing to HomoSapiens grocery list of fundamental needs…
-Someone to notice me because i saw some stuff and talked about it
It seems like, at least here in the States, that since we’ve fulfilled our “manifest destiny” to inhabit every stinkin’ corner of this country, the next thing on the cosmic to-do list is to have an opinion about everything. And to let everyone know what it is. So, instead of physically occupying every bit of land coast to coast, we now intellectually inhabit it. All of it.
What I’m curious about is the math on all this. I mean, there’s only a tiny portion of the world’s population that has access to the Internet, right? So, is there some sort of logarithm that states that as we learn more about each other, and as more people gain access to the Internet, the world gets smaller and more knowable? That if we keep sharing exponentially our experiences of the world, that eventually everyone will have access to the experiences of anyone on earth?
If that sounds like sci-fi mumbo jumbo, well, I admit, it is late… and I did just watch a video of a gnome in Argentina. Anything is possible.