internet manifesto: bring back the old web

Sometimes I complain that I miss the old web to my husband. He never really understand it and even tells me that Internet wasn't much fun back then.

And it's okay, because even though we have the same age, we never had the same relationship with the Web. While I was scrolling through forum threads, he was playing outside with neighbor kids. He had multiple siblings too, so I can't even imagine the computer time being shared between all of them! But me, I had no one to share with my computer, and it was even installed in my own room, starting from the age of 6 to 18.

So, I'm guessing a lot of people of my own age, and younger, may not understand why we want the old web back. That's why I wanted to write a manifesto;

Internet was something quite vague for me until 2003-2004. Before that, I didn't really understand how it worked and stayed mainly on my cheap computer games. Then, one day, I was reading a magazine with a friend and we saw an ad for a fun website, to raise pigs in a virtual world. The idea was so cool that we checked out immediately, typing the address from the magazine into the electronic white box.. And so it began like that! Surfing from one to site to another, I was amazed by all the things I could find just by clicking. From this day on, most of my free days, you would find me in front of the big computer screen.

For my family, it was appalling to see their daughter spend all her time on a 'hobby' that would require absolutely no movements except oculars. But for me, it was an era of discovery, amazement and communication; I talked with so many people from different countries via forums, read so many interesting things on blogs and personalized websites. Sometimes I could spend an afternoon just looking at e-cards and writing stories about them.

Then one day, I heard about Facebook from my own parents, while talking with my grandparents. Me, who've been on the Internet for a while, was interested in the concept, but at the same time, didn't see the appeal. Surprise; a few months later, friends at school would start to talk about that infamous website. How cool it was, you could like fan pages of anything, write status, play fun games, all on one website! I made an account and took it as another new thing that would be buried under something else after few years. Then, people started to disappear from our usual hotspots. forums became deserts. People started to integrate Facebook into everything. Companies even started to add their own pages, trying to get on the train with us. We laughed and laughed at how it was ridiculous...

Those websites don't exist anymore. I can't even find them for most of them. If they do exist, they are awfully re-vamped to appeal to the new generations, which is understandable. Everyone is on the Internet now. It"s just another extension of our needs.

It was our space. Ads were only for other websites. It was like entering a new weird dimension with its own rules and expectations, but no corporations chasing us here. That was the pact. By merging the web with reality, we blurred the lines and we can't even make the difference between our virtual personas. In fact, corporations and governments are pushing us to merge with it. Everywhere you go on the current Internet, you have to show a social media pass, like a Facebook account or Twitter, or Instagram, or Google Chrome, to log in to access anything. Everything we now do on the Internet can be punishable and we keep anxious looks over other's, unable to really blend together since we are constantly watched.

What is now expected from the reality is expected from your virtual alter ego too.

February 15 2023

a mushroom rant (o.t. oss & o.n. oeric)

I am old, older than thought in your species, which is itself fifty times older than your history. Though I have been on earth for ages I am from the stars. My home is no one planet, for many worlds scattered through the shining disc of the galaxy have conditions which allow my spores an opportunity for life. The mushroom which you see is the part of my body given to sex thrills and sun bathing, my true body is a fine network of fibers growing through the soil. These networks may cover acres and may have far more connections that the number in a human brain. My mycelial network is nearly immortal, only the sudden toxification of a planet or the explosion of its parent star can wipe me out. By means impossible to explain because of certain misconceptions in your model of reality all my mycelial networks in the galaxy are in hyperlight communication across space and time. The mycelial body is as fragile as a spider's web but the collective hypermind and memory is a vast historical archive of the career of evolving intelligence on many worlds in our spiral star swarm. Space, you see, is a vast ocean to those hardy life forms that have the ability to reproduce from spores, for spores are covered with the hardest organic substance known. Across the aeons of time and space drift many spore-forming life-forms in suspended animation for millions of years until contact is made with a suitable environment. Few such species are minded, only myself and my recently evolved near relatives have achieved the hyper-communication mode and memory capacity that makes us leading members in the community of galactic intelligence. How the hypercommunication mode operates is a secret which will not be lightly given to man. But the means should be obvious: it is the occurrence of psilocybin and psilocin in the biosynthetic pathways of my living body that opens for me and my symbiots the vision screens to many worlds. You as an individual and man as a species are on the brink of the formation of a symbiotic relationship with my genetic material that will eventually carry humanity and earth into the galactic mainstream of the higher civilizations.

Since it is not easy for you to recognize other varieties of intelligence around you, your most advanced theories of politics and society have advanced only as far as the notion of collectivism. But beyond the cohesion of the members of a species into a single social organism there lie richer and even more baroque evolutionary possibilities. Symbiosis is one of these. Symbiosis is a relation of mutual dependence and positive benefits for both of the species involved. Symbiotic relationships between myself and civilized forms of higher animals have been established many times and in many places throughout the long ages of my development. These relationships have been mutually useful; within my memory is the knowledge of hyperlight drive ships and how to build them. I will trade this knowledge for a free ticket to new worlds around suns younger and more stable than your own. To secure an eternal existence down the long river of cosmic time I again and again offer this agreement to higher beings and thereby have spread throughout the galaxy over the long millennia. A mycelial network has no organs to move the world, no hands; but higher animals with manipulative abilities can become partners with the star knowledge within me and if they act in good faith, return both themselves and their humble mushroom teacher to the million worlds all citizens of our starswarm are heir to.

January 1rst 1986