Internet Brothers Community · Essays About Life

What this is about:

Community is the cornerstone of the Internet. E-commerce may get all the press, but communication among like and not so like-minded individuals is what keeps the net alive. This particular community of Internet brothers and sisters contributed their thoughts about the net, and life in general. As Joe Jenett once told me, "Look around you — see all the little sites who have bought into the myth of gaining riches on the web — see all the creative content ruined by the effects of over-commercialization. The lines between creative content and commercial content have become blurred and as far as I'm concerned, that really sucks."

Joe Jenett

Joe JenettI've been accused of being too verbose. Verbosity takes time, and nobody has any time to spare. So, verbosity is out. Understand? This verbosity has to stop right now! We don't have time for your nonsense and endless rambling, so stop it, and I mean right now! I'd like to respond to the accusation, but unfortunately (without being allowed to verbalize), I haven't had time to teach any of my fingers more than the few words they already know, so I'll have to leave it at that.

Webstream

“so i speak and my soul leaks onto the tired pavement where we all met that night to share our inner thoughts” — Joe Jenett

it dawns on me that the caps were killed by a new medium that understood the lack of structure in peoples' minds helplessly hoping for something new helplessly lost in the din of the same old thing being said over and over and over again in new and different ways

helplessly hoping was the song i was trying to remember that last night we stepped into reality knowing neil would carry the show to the next level of magic for the new year the new decade the new millennium the new medium and david was just happy to have survived and the spirit of the old days was the spirit of the new ways to say the same thing over and over and over again

not disappointed but who appointed me anyway to speak for a mass of people i don't really know and the mass of hopes left to grow stale in the moonlight last night last sight he was running away with a link in his hand a link that could make a stand as crowds cheer in a dirty alley where hookers and hawkers peddle their wares staring into dead darkness with nothing going on but the throng of songs embedded in our heads staying there reminding us of what we've seen until we're dead with nothing left to say but i wish it would last just one more day

so i speak and my soul leaks onto the tired pavement where we all met that night to share our inner thoughts with all the strangers we've never seen except in dreams of schemes of using them for our own selfish gain replacing the pain of true emptiness

the color of my web is not orange as if that matters and the limited colors we can safely use is enough to amuse boring people looking for excitement in places run by the man who stands aside watching us bask in the glory he created for his own whim it's him we should be watching out for even though he owns the store we go to every day trying to deal with the hunger and lack of warmth that makes us human

we buy we try we fly to new places which look just like where we came from and offer no new answers click fast don't stay don't read don't play just keep moving on to the next pointless wealth of information that we don't really care about anyway we're so cool for fools we're so empty that we're always longing to be full

whining is so easy but it really don't please me let me out now before i explode

helplessly hoping to free myself of this load helplessly grabbing for the next winning number in the stream of addiction the next spinning thunder in the noise of the same old thing over and over and over again

getting lost on the web is all i live for now getting lost on the web is my fate getting lost on the web is a sign it's too late

getting lost is the real deal

Confession of a Pixel Mechanic

“My pixels on your screen are creating chemical reactions in your brain as you read this. You are not immune to my siren song as long as you are connected.” — Alan Herrell

     I know that the web is the greatest intellectual achievement in the history of the human race. This knowledge goes beyond my rational brain, into that area of human experience called profound faith. I am not a religious person. I am a semi-rational individual who doesn't take much on faith. I have some problems.

Confession

     I spent 25 years of my life as a drunk and a dope fiend. I have been clean and sober for a bit over 13 years now. It took two voluntary tries and shutting down 4 square blocks of a major metropolitan downtown area around lunchtime in the middle of the week, a closed door commitment hearing, an involuntary stay at a psychiatric mental hospital, a 1800 mile move and a marriage to get me pointed in the right direction.

     The final answer to the abuse lunacy came from a fellow inmate who said, "Listen, out of everything you can imagine yourself doing, out of every possibility there is in the world, these are the only two things you can not do." It still took me two years to understand what he actually said and begin to live.

     I am a bit of an absolutist. I have to be. I still have problems. The clink of ice in an old fashioned glass, the sensual sound of whisky gently splashing over the ice, the smokey gold color of fine scotch and the resulting descent into insanity I remember far too well.

What is this web thing?

     "I spend a lot of time on the web. It's my day job, and I'm happy to do it. Besides building websites, I think about the web and where it's going." I said that. It is on my opinion page. Am I still happy about it? I don't know.

     I watch and read and write about the web. I watched with horror the rise of the so called commercial web and it's recent collapse. Yes I laughed when these dot.coms crashed and burned. Making money the old fashioned way by working for it works much better than hoping that the kindness of clueless strangers with more money than sense will dig some company built on vaporware out of the dirt.

     Don't worry, it's still about the money. The rise of litigation surrounding the current laws regarding copyright, trademarks and our very own domain hijacking, will insure that the lawyers will continue to feed their families. The marketeers are waiting in the wings for the next big thing to build brand identity, build desire, and make you ashamed that you do not use their products. The web is the perfect vehicle to separate you from your money, in your home, in your chair, on your computer.

     I read with anguish the stories of folks who bought into a dream and then were sold out. That I can share your pain at all, is a pretty amazing thing. But this is not about you, this is about us.

We are psychic vampires

     We are birds of a feather, you and I. I enter your sites, devour your pixels, view your source and steal away. If you look closely you can see my tracks in your log files; if you care. That is a risk you take when you expose your soft underbelly to my trackball. Oh no, I am not alone here, your are a vampire too. You chose to come here. My pixels on your screen are creating chemical reactions in your brain as you read this. You are not immune to my siren song as long as you are connected.

     We are not passive participants in this space. Our new shiny toy with it's colors, tags and places for our lunatic ravings, (at least in my case) is giving us a soapbox of unprecedented proportion to extol our virtues, expose our faults and share what we have learned in the quiet singular universe of pixel mechanics.

But is this a good thing?

     I am concerned about the future. The web allows us to become different. The ease with which we can become something else is an awesome and frightening thing. We are merrily dividing the world into the connected, and those that are not. We hang out with folks who think alike, feel the way we do, and like us. This is not a bad thing, we did it before the web and if the web crashes and burns tomorrow, we will still do it. We are creating our own little pixel clubs that exclude by platform, browser, and connection speed. That is a bad thing.

     I see the dangers of fragmentation, litigation, and the complete rewriting of laws to deal with the ideas and abilities of the citizens of cyberspace. I see the population of the web increasing until it is as common as the telephone, yet far richer. I see the web bringing greater understanding, knowledge and goodwill for everyone.

     I am a self-taught, self-employed pixel mechanic. I build websites for a living. I work the web. I get up in the morning and surf, read email, write email, visit my morning sites to find out what is happening. I am on the web because I can. Today I am a better person than I was yesterday. What I know about the web now, I learned from you — All of You.

     I see my Life. Yeah, I'm still happy about it.

Alan Herrell

Alan HerrellI spend a lot of time on the web. It's my day job, and I'm happy to do it. Besides building websites, I think about the web and where it's going. Occasionally I have something to say about it. My opinions are noted for a lack of tact and diplomacy. They are not for the sensitive, the politically correct, or the "kittens-butterflies-rainbow" crowd! The youngin's probably shouldn't be exposed either!

Dave Clark

Dave ClarkDave is proud to tell you he's a 25 year member of "The Dirtbags." If you hang around expensive ski resorts long enough, you're likely to encounter this motley crew of greybeard teenagers trying their best to tear every ligament in the human anatomy. Crash and burn, baby! Expert in the digital photographic arts, this Internet Brother once hung from a 600 foot cliff without a net to retrieve a $20.00 space blanket... and lives to tell about it.

The World Is Not the Internet

Iíve been hooked on the internet ever since I got online several years ago. I check my email several times each day, hoping to hear from old and new friends; usually disappointed to find nothing but spam; unsolicited advertisments for ... well you know. Did you know you can "lose weight while you sleep?" Thatís what they would have you believe.

I get most of my news from the internet, checking the news sites from C|Net, MSNBC, MacSurfer and other favorites to see what is going on. TV news and newspapers no longer seem to measure up. Web news sites are more likely to have news in which I'm interested.

Much of my time has been spent on my own website (my home on the web) to share my favorite images and thoughts with others. I get messages from people around the world who appreciate my efforts. It's gratifying. The internet is cool, there's no doubt about it.

This is all well and good, but there's more to the world than the internet. Billions of people don't have or care about the internet and they're doing just fine.

Lately I've been pushing away from the computer a bit. I walk in the evenings in the snow and rain. If the sky is clear, I stare at the stars. This is how the world has been for millions of years and it's a wonderful thing. As I look up at the stars, it occurs to me that I may have focused too much on the internet in recent years and I wonder what I've been missing.

My point? I'm not sure, but those of us who spend a lot of time staring at pixels should be wondering. Are we missing something?

Weaving the Web

“...what is created on the Internet now will hopefully be held up as examples of great imagination and useful contribution to the world later.” — Sally Mclean

     I woke up this morning, and realised I'd been dreaming in html. "Interesting", I thought, as I headed for the computer. "Now, what did that site layout look like again?" When questioned by my flatmate as to what I was up to, I told her about my dream. She just shook her head and said (and I quote) "You need to get a life."

     Something I've found increasingly more annoying as each news report goes out (and each comment about my work escapes my flatmate's lips), is the media myth that the Internet is a damaging, socially unacceptable, unhealthy landscape.

     I happen to think that it's quite the opposite — that it promotes creativity, original thinking and sharing of ideas. What about the sites produced and maintained by artists, writers, filmmakers and other creative types? The Internet is only a reflection of the "real" world. Doesn't the web have it's own network of artisans and cultural contributors? Yes it does. Can't the Internet facilitate artistic excellence in web site and graphic design? Yes it can.

     Would people have "tsk, tsked" Michelangelo when he woke up from dreaming about a masterpiece in oils? Or if Mozart awakened with a symphony in his head? Or if Einstein arose with the theory of relativity on the tip of his tongue? Okay, so maybe some people did at the time, but my point is what is created on the Internet now will hopefully be held up as examples of great imagination and useful contribution to the world later.

     I'm not saying that I'm a Michelangelo or a Mozart, and I'm definitely not an Einstein, but I like to think that I am developing interesting, informative and creative places to visit in the virtual world. I'm a filmmaker as well as a web designer, and I don't see that my work on the web is any different to my work with celluloid. Both worlds exist outside the "real" one — so why is one more acceptable than the other in some people's eyes?

     Do I pick on my flatmate just because she's a hairdresser? No, actually I don't.

     Even when she has pink hair. Get my point?

Sally McLean

Sally McLeanI am Antaguar. Part myth, part faerie, part real. I am a weaver of words, teller of tales, bard of fact and fable. I wander the worlds collecting stories as I roam. Bringing memory back to life, myth back to reality, dreams back to truth, love back to understanding. Travel with me now as I take you on a journey beyond the wall of reason, into the realm of madness, onto the light of existance in all it's varied forms. Come, walk with me...

Eliot Wilder

Eliot WilderI am Eliot. I get out of bed every day. I have a cat named Nattie. I drink coffee. I am right-handed. I believe in etiquette. I love summer rain. I also love vanilla frozen yogurt from JP Licks. Most people prefer toppings such as jimmies or twinkles or whatever you call them. I, however, do not. I am Eliot.

Simple Acts of Cellvility

“Watch where you are going. The other day I saw a woman on a cell walk smack into a mailbox. Dignity is one of the more precious of human attributes. Preserve it.” — Eliot Wilder

When are so-called modern conveniences inconvenient? When they become major annoyances. Which more often than not is the case with cell phones.

Yes, they are a boon to personal communication — but have you ever been in a closed, airless space and had to suffer some chatterbox who's arguing obliviously with her brutish boyfriend? The experience is definitely up there with enduring individuals who have yet to discover personal hygiene or mouth-breathers who take up two seats on the subway.

That said, there should be certain rules of etiquette when it comes to talking on your cell phone in public. Therefore, here are a few to keep in mind before you cause that person sitting across from you in a restaurant to hold up the "too much information" sign.



The basic rule of thumb is this: Any time you think you might be bugging the crap out of somebody, you probably are. Cell phones are a great invention. Just be sure that yours doesn't impinge on the lives of others.


Proceed to part 2 of the Internet Brothers Community.

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