Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Evolution of the Information Superhighway

When the World Wide Web was just getting underway (1995), the convention was that nobody ever posted under their real name, which I realized was a huge mistake because it would allow misinformation, deception, manipulation and malice to proliferate faster than legitimate and authentic information -- undermining the credibility of this brave new world, which I could recognize then would be the only publication that mattered in the future.

So when my instructor said that no serious writer would ever write on the WWW primarily or even exclusively, I titled my instructional homepage, "The World's Writer," and told my instructor who insisted I had to be anonymous like the convention, that people would just assume that I'm not who I claimed to be -- since everybody else was an alias.

Then I warned forums that I participated on that most of the abuses were caused by anonymity, and the real power of the WWW, is that it allowed anyone to become famous (well-known) as the person they really are -- rather than remaining anonymous (nobodies) they were conditioned to think they were -- all their lives by the institutions and media.

The power of the press lay in their ability to "make" or "break" anybody -- because they presumably spoke for everybody, whether they in fact did or not. But they presumed so, and were the "only game in town." But many were just not used to having the spotlight on themselves -- and having to make themselves, rather than allowing the status quo institutions determine that. That was the world in which the New York Times, or Harvard University, etc., told everybody else what to think -- as though they really knew, and were the hierarchy anointed to maintain the "political correctness" on what to think.

But now with the WWW, many people outside of those hierarchies, are the foremost experts who actually created that field of knowledge and industry -- like Steve Jobs et al, and there is no higher authority, to ask than oneself, to know oneself.


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