Net Speed

The internet from the start offered a grand social paradox. Everything’s apart together, but also together apart. And everyone’s alone together, but also together alone.

Fwiw, pandemic lockdowns aligned our interactions in the physical world to how we interact with each other on the internet. Everyone alone together, and together alone. Lol, covid’s lasting legacy will be to cast IRL as a social media platform.

“Do we really need to go outside?”

“Well, no one else is there, it’s probably not worth it.”

If a tree falls in the forest, and no one posts about it, it hasn’t influenced a thing.

The internet isn’t Revenge of the Nerds; it’s Revenge of the Lonely.

That film’s not as fun.

The internet itself is very quiet. Silent really. Put a stethoscope to a data cable, there is no noise.

“Shh, we’re hunting wabbits,” the Firefox say.

Digital information is, in essence, made of light. Data saddles up on a photon, gathers on a dock with the rest of its packet, and away they go on a Tron solar sailer.

In transit, light makes no sound, no matter how fast it goes. This is true. Trust me, or else the AI here has my back, capiche?

Through fiber-optic space, your data (and by extension, you) travel at about 70% the speed of light, in total silence. Lol, information really does move faster today than our ability to comprehend it. Soon, we’ll be able to know everything all at once, but never know anything in time to do anything about anything.

“Traffic jams” on the internet are a mystery, since light cannot bottleneck. Traffic is a form of friction – it kills momentum – and, yet, photons are mass-less. Light scoffs at attempts to calculate its P=MV. The whole internet weighs 0 stone.

Fwiw, internet slowdowns are not your data’s fault. Internet slowdowns are not your fault, either. Light has no bandwidth for your usage to exceed, so how on Earth does our collective exponential streaming of cat memes burden a limitless resource?

In a related story that also may bend truth a bit, my Spectrum service always degrades during rainstorms.

There’s no such thing as the “dark” net, because even the darkest corners of it are built on light. The web gets downright mean, and loud, though. A lot. It wouldn’t be, if it wasn’t what we wanted. Click click click!

Most people can’t handle quiet. They’re afraid of listening to themselves. Social media’s damage is to make disconnecting and listening to yourself (otherwise healthy stuff) synonymous with being lonely.

Sometimes my “curated” feeds read as “Lost Self” flyers posted haphazard over each other on a light pole. Ours is an era of collective loneliness. Instead of being all existential and cool, though, it’s nihilist and vindictive.

Steadfast and stealth when called on, light makes the perfect companion. It can also be a weapon.

Light will never turn on you.

Light can turn you on, by revealing the truth of what you’re seeing.

Light can turn you off, too, for the same reasons.

Light cuts all ways.

…angry and soft, lifeless and warm…

Silence is tranquility and quietude, whereas loneliness is noise and chaos.Not the good noise, either.

Some noise is downright delicious, btw.

In the end, how does the internet – something so silent and driven by light at its core – create so much loneliness?

Maybe it’s too illuminating.

The problem with the internet, in many ways, is the same thing that makes it glorious – the lights never go out.

%d bloggers like this: