Saturday, August 18, 2007

Basic principles

In fourth grade, I thought, wouldn't it be a great idea if chat rooms could be private? Like just between two people? And then instant messenger did just that, and I felt like some sort of prophet or cheated inventor. In sixth grade, I started spending upwards of six hours a day playing a game I called "Follow the Links." There, on dial-up internet, I waited for those excruciating pages to load, or came up with website addresses out of thin air and then checked to see if they existed. I made friends, through those tiny typed windows, with teenagers older than me, whose mostly-plain early blogs I read daily (searching through the archives for a secret past.) I think I probably didn't invent following the links; now, I can reconcile myself to the idea that movement from one website to another is one of, you know, the basic principles of the internet.

I really, really love the internet. I love how it makes everything light-speed, organizes a mess of information through math and infinite connectability. I love that's it's a place for innovation waiting to happen. I think this moment of unbounded love for the internet has something to do with the fact that I spent the past nine weeks at Middlebury College in Vermont, speaking and reading and writing only Russian. (well. mostly.) I loved the internet in Russian, too, actually—and there's so much to find, waiting but hidden from view--but I just read so fast in English. (Compared to the messy search for verbs, cognates, conjunctions that I recognized in Russian, of course.)

So I love the internet, and I'm going to talk about it a lot. I just wanted you to be, you know. Forewarned.

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