Wednesday, June 3, 2009

LOL! The internets...

Or is it "interwebz" now? I can never remember. Sometimes slang is stupid.
Either way, the internet has an interesting relationship to the real world/life (or "RL" to gamers and internet personalities). Psychologically and sociologically speaking, the concept of the human race collectively and continuously molding and shaping a digital near-universe of our own to use as we wish provides endless debate and discussion over the implications of this behavior. And, comically, despite philosophical differences across many groups, we managed to progressively model the rules of this universe after our own - creating laws to ensure that "territory" is doled out appropriately per country, tying the intangible to physical constructs such as server CPU's, and supporting movements to cut back on inconveniences, such as pop-up ads and spam. Create and control: it's kind of what we do. I would hypothesize that, if you could map out every possible avenue the web can take you, the result would almost perfectly superimpose over a map of the planet Earth. Should we be so surprised when this digital universe that we created has started encroaching on our own?


The internet's levees are breaking. I'm not talking about digital crossovers or wormholes through the internet or cyber-bio-virus-whatever (although, when teleportation for living entities is invented I'm certain the internet will be involved). Look at the progression web-based media has made - from amateur videos on youtube to full-blown independent web series. The writer's strike of '07 happened, giving birth to Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog - a 40-something minute musical independently created and (originally) marketed on the internet to circumvent bureaucracy and red-tape. Now, with the boom in marketable web-series and the "rise of Hulu," control is slipping from the grasp of high powered CEO's. Sure, they may try - Felicia Day's The Guild contracted with Microsoft for its second season, after all (though this only affected their distribution and, actually, upped their production value, so good for them!). However, high-
falutin' concepts like Nielsen ratings are starting to fall to the way-side. With the continuation of television shows with unsupportable ratings, like Fox's Dollhouse, both Hulu and DVR are proven to now have a considerable hold over the decisions agencies and corporations make. Yes, there are other factors to consider for this example as well - the continuation of Dollhouse could actually be an unofficial apology to Whedon's devout Firefly fan base (a fantastic show cancelled before it was even given a chance to stand). But, that still supports that a rating system several decades old is slowly rendered obsolete and company heads now have to contend further with their audiences - both online and not. Nielsen ratings used to be set in stone and the internet has turned them soft.

Of course, this post is completely devoid of discussions on social networking sites, the death of the newspaper, online retail, and blogging as one of the final free forms of artistic expression. How else will the internet inadvertently blend over into the real world? Feel free, Gentle Readers, to post below.

(Property of Promago.de)

P.S./weird thought of the day - Imagine a world where your Facebook profile develops consciousness and begins to believe that it could live your life, from the internet, better than you can. And, it wishes to render your living self obsolete in both the living and digital universe. You know, for efficiency's sake. Thoughts?

2 comments:

B.Graham said...

@ your PS - I WANNA SEE/WRITE/BE IN THAT MOVIE

also the internet holds all the possibilities that all those hippie communes wanted to achieve; now it's up to us to keep it/make it more so

Jason Heat said...

I don't think I ever denied that someone could live my life better than i could.

But after attempting, I'm really not sure why they'd want to.

Leaving me safe and secure from online assimalor droids.