I want to write something to spend my time with, so I went searching for a video of Kevin Kelly speaking at the TED Conference, which I saw awhile ago. The video (which in some way is related to my story) brings up the astonishing fact that at, at least at the date the video was recorded, the internet was nearly 5,000 days old. He then offers what he believes the next 5,000 and beyond will bring.
What I felt the need to address is how necessary transparency is in his vision of Web 3.0. His Web (The One) is ubiquitous, and saturates absolutely everything. Everything is cataloged and every detail is known. From my friends, my family, my job, where I live, where I am, everything. And even after a a year this much is becoming clear. The security of Facebook makes people feel better about putting their information on the internet, like wading into the shallow side of the pool, or Richard Dreyfuss’s Baby Steps. Twitter asks that the user answer the question, “What are you doing?” Not only this, but more people are being sucked into the Web. It was a culture shock when my Mother got a Facebook account, but I find it much harder to believe that my Grandfather would succumb.
If the future is transparency, and a somewhat frightening interconnectiveness, then what will happen to internet culture? What happens to the porn? The scientology bashing? The pirating? The snark? What will happen to everything else? Will things like lolcats or the Rick Roll have surprising traction outside the geekiest of circles? What happens to internet identities in a world where it becomes harder to conjure one? When the internet voice is synonymous with your own? What leaks in, and what disappears?
This is probably incredibly portentous. But I hadn’t been saying much, and this came to mind.