Tuesday, June 1, 2010

PWNED, Or Nature In The Internet: ;)

One of the things that bothers me about the internet is how fast it spreads things. Culture doesn't get to evolve naturally over time and space. In fact time and space are erased altogether. Things don’t get marinated, nor do they get weighed for value. They don’t sink into the skin or try themselves against generations.

What we get is the cheapest, shallowest memes. We get whatever is shortest, hits the brain fastest, and makes a mark on another instantly. It’s a normal Darwinian universe, allowing whatever spreads the fastest and easiest. Whatever fits the medium best. The cocaine of life.

In other words, instead of true organisms, we get viruses. Instead of flowers we get weeds. Again, nothing unnatural or improper as things go, just hideous and uninspiring. Lots of drek, very little to be admired.

I do enjoy the play of language and phrase that goes on, on the internet, but it is sometimes hard to find underneath the deluge of the instantly transmitted language virus. I wish William Burroughs could have lived to see his nightmares come true on the world wide web.

It’s odd too, because so many people that devote time to web chatter are highly literate, and computer literate(I'm talking all you college educated IT types). I'm neither, and I still fall prey to trying to fit in on my MSN chats, using the same phrases, words, and--we don't have a word for it--short forms--alphanumeric-typographic combinations--that transmit saccharine facsimiles of meaning. In fact, I feel proud and up to the minute when I properly absorb some strange meme and can transmit it to someone, thereby verifying that I am in fact normal and intelligible.

I enjoyed learning the weird language people use for those odd messages that accompany photographs of cats. Mostly I enjoyed it because until I did, I felt left behind, like a relic, or something doomed to extinction.

It really is the Twilight Zone. You clear your throat and pronounce something, and it is heard the world over. But unfortunately, what you say is maybe ‘pwned’. I'm actually still not sure what that means, but it does not matter as that life form has had its day. It has come and gone, just like the tens of millions of years of the dinosaur. I never have to say pwned to anyone, it is a dead word. Whatever it elucidated is now gone.

It’s not something we can escape from, it is as natural as foraging for berries in the woods or scratching to cover your pee. Doesn't mean we have to like it.

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