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Comment on It’s not just an analogy

b10 Tue, Sep 30, 2008
Having just read Italo Calvino's If on a Winters Night a Traveller, my relationship with books has just been subjected to a strange mutation. It may take me a while to figure it out, but I see it as a sort of new awareness of Reading, itself, and my responsibility as a Reader in a world of other Readers, non-Readers, and potential Readers.
Now the Internet, well that could be mankind's greatest book, the one in which the history of the world, all of our histories are written, traced in data, decorated by markup-code, and available for instantaneous perusal and absorption. When I heard about Obama signing the FISA, this horrible feeling began to grow. I mean, I can imagine a child of the next generation looking up at me and asking, "You mean, the internet used to be free? You could look at whatever you wanted, whenever? What was it like? What did you see?"
This is being over-dramatic but I am not the only one who sees the use of the internet affecting the physical world. The way it can be used to organize, to mobilize, to attract attention, it can all be easily interpreted as a potential threat to power. I am sorry to bring politics into this issue which seems above "all that". I just know the US Gov hasn't truly understood what the 'net is capable of, that is until lately. I feel like the beast is awakening to a new threat, appearing in the social structure of the internet, if not purely in its content. I truly hope the internet remains as it is, a frontier of imagination, the G-rated content and the horrors of human nature separated by one click of the mouse. Because this is how life is, and any other sort of internet, some regulated and censored battlefield of information, is NOT my internet, and I'll never let it be. We, the users, have the power, and we'd better hold onto it.