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    The Internet's Birthday

    [ photo via The Daily Bruin ]

    Today we celebrated the Internet’s birthday. We tied ourselves together into a physical network that grew as we walked around campus and expanded. We snagged people eating their lunch, people going to meet with TAs, and people who spontaneously stuck with us in a web of yarn the whole day.

    We also went and visited Leonard Klienrock, the man responsible for getting the first message from UCLA to Stanford through ARPAnet on this day, 38 years ago. And right next to him is the machine that made it possible.


    [ photo via The Daily Bruin ]

    By physicalizing the Internet we got to visualize our love for it, which I’ve realized is really important to make clear. A pretty spot on editorial ran in the New York Times Magazine a few weeks ago by a student at Yale [ Nicholas Handler ] who deemed the current 20 something generation the “post-everything generation.” He writes "the technological revolution, the moveon.org revolution, the revolution of the organization kid, is just as real and just as profound as the revolution of the 1960’s– it is just not as visible. It is a work in progress, but it is there."

    I was glad to hear someone put that out there, and though i don't completely relate to everything he writes about, I was somewhat surprised by how much flack he got, both in the letters and the blog comment responses. Maybe it’s exaggerated to suggest that a revolution is taking place through online activism, but it seems that we’re a generation caught between hardliners, be they leftists or conservatives, when in reality, polarities are just not of our time. We’ve been shaped by the Internet, by instant access and freedom to information, to multiple perspectives, to self-directed learning. The flip-flopping between the Democrats and the Republicans couldn’t be more static, and I can’t help but observe some informal agreement between the two in maintaining their two-party monopoly. Somehow, it all seems like that “this’ll come in handy when you’re older, just you wait and see” syndrome they throw at high school kids, when in reality the outside world is ripe with context and it's tradition that keeps us in a classroom absorbing abstractions on a blackboard. But just as we are expected to learn a particular way we are expected to rebel a particular way while the context has completely changed, and just as the sixties generation strove to re-define themselves on their terms; we have to define ourselves on ours. For the time being, though this generation of multiplicities may not have found a unified political cause, the one thing you can be sure we’ll rally around is the Internet.

    Tue, Oct 30, 2007  Permanent link

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    A0013237932294     Wed, Oct 31, 2007  Permanent link
    Übersmart post / Eminently quotable
    feanne     Wed, Dec 12, 2007  Permanent link
    ÜberCUTE!

    Wow I want to celebrate The Internet's Birthday here in Metro Manila too!
     
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