What Is The Internet?

Sometimes in this life it is easier to define something by describing what it is not than it is to define it by describing what it is. The Internet or more specifically the group of people who interact on it it are not easily defined for a number of reasons:

  • Anonymity on the Internet and in public discourse is very important, but people will use it, as they do with all things, for both good and bad.
  • People who feel free of societal regulation will express themselves with bluntness and brutal truth.
  • Anonymity allows people to express themselves in ways that are not possible when societal retribution is likely. They are permitted to explore ‘roles’ which are normally not available to them. The same holds true if authoritarian rule would bring retribution.
  • Anonymity often defines ‘freedom’ of speech and likewise that freedom often looks much like anarchy.
  • Trying to curb that freedom is analogous to oppression and exacts a rebellious response. One that comes in a wide spectrum of flavors.

Everyone should know what the Streisand Effect is. Telling ‘The Internet’ to behave is going to have a cause and effect thing. Poor Greta found out the hard way that she has no authority over the Internet. She likewise has no authority over atheists. Though she pretends there is something called an atheist community she is doing what she can to prove that no such thing exists. She is doing this by pointing out that ‘her’ priorities should be those of all the atheist community. A terse summary of her post is: Stop what you are doing. Listen to me. Don’t ever do that again!

It had the same effect that going to /b/ and telling everyone to be nice would have. Her reaction and the reaction of comments to her posts demonstrate that they don’t know what the Internet is, but they are just as sure they know what it should be. In short, they’re just simply wrong. Perhaps they will learn  but I’m not going to hold my breath. This ilk has shown stubborn resolve in the past and would rather go hide than admit they were not right in their actions or thoughts or intended deeds. Their desire to punish, oppress, and suppress dissenting opinion is wrong no matter how wrong that opinion might be. They deign themselves proper thought police.

This is one of the reasons why there is no such thing as an atheist community. It is why anonymous has no leaders. It is why the Occupy Movement is not orchestrated. You cannot herd cats and you cannot tell people to join you in the fight for freedom but they have to fight the way you tell them to.

So? What is the Internet? Well, it’s not the arm of authoritarian rule and never can be as long as it offers the anarchy of freedom of expression, and it does so like no other medium ever has. To think or expect anything else is nothing less than authoritarian thought. Greta is not my leader and does not speak for me, nor does any other famous atheist. I think she should spend more time petting her cats and less time at the keyboard. Of course that is simply my opinion. Meh!

Yes… yes… yes… gender bias and discrimination is a very bad thing. It is bad no matter which gender does it or why they do it. It does not matter the source, it is bad as is any form of discrimination. Just don’t tell me that your particular pet peeve is worse than other forms. You should be fighting ALL gender bias and discrimination not just your personal cause. Trumpeting your own special worries is just whining. There are those of us who support your cause by giving up our position of privilege and I’m going to bet that I’m not the only one that doesn’t like to hear you whine like Greta appears to be doing. My old grandpa would say that  you shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you. He also used to talk about catching flies with honey rather than vinegar. He might have been on to something?

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  1. There are those of us who support your cause by giving up our position of privilege and I’m going to bet that I’m not the only one that doesn’t like to hear you whine like Greta appears to be doing. My old grandpa would say that you shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you. He also used to talk about catching flies with honey rather than vinegar.

    Make up your mind.

    • I’m not sure I understand how you perceived two sides there… My mind is made up.

    • WW
    • December 31st, 2011

    Interesting you cite the occupy movement.
    Here’s the Principles of Solidarity.

    On September 17, 2011, people from all across the United States of America and the world came to protest the blatant injustices of our times perpetuated by the economic and political elites. On the 17th we as individuals rose up against political disenfranchisement and social and economic injustice. We spoke out, resisted, and successfully occupied Wall Street. Today, we proudly remain in Liberty Square constituting ourselves as autonomous political beings engaged in non-violent civil disobedience and building solidarity based on mutual respect, acceptance, and love. It is from these reclaimed grounds that we say to all Americans and to the world, Enough! How many crises does it take? We are the 99% and we have moved to reclaim our mortgaged future.Through a direct democratic process, we have come together as individuals and crafted these principles of solidarity, which are points of unity that include but are not limited to:

    Engaging in direct and transparent participatory democracy;
    Exercising personal and collective responsibility;
    Recognizing individuals’ inherent privilege and the influence it has on all interactions;
    Empowering one another against all forms of oppression;
    Redefining how labor is valued;
    The sanctity of individual privacy;
    The belief that education is human right; and
    Endeavoring to practice and support wide application of open source.

    We are daring to imagine a new socio-political and economic alternative that offers greater possibility of equality. We are consolidating the other proposed principles of solidarity, after which demands will follow.

    Might want to adjust your rhetorical stance accordingly….

    • Perhaps this is a clue to how I did not explain enough. I do not disagree with the Occupy movement in any way. Their ideals and action are righteous in my opinion. I cite them in that their actions from one city to the next or country to the next are not coordinated or orchestrated. Each local group acts on it’s own according to its own principles and needs… thus no central leadership. Let me say again, no central leadership. This is a form of anarchy and I approve. Not because it is anarchy of a sort, but because it is effective. You and I have no argument.

        • Bruce Gorton
        • December 31st, 2011

        If you ever travel and go to a town run by racists you will note something – the people living in that town are precisely where they belong, a shithole.

        The kinds of racists who take over towns aren’t just shitty to the race of their choice, they are shitty to everyone. The same thing goes for misogynists, they are both essentially groups that believe in putting people in their place.

        Which is exactly what Occupy was against, because when someone puts you in your place what they really mean is assert your place as being a peasant.

        We are all sick to death of dealing with these assholes. Even Penny Arcade is sick of these assholes. That goes for a big chunk of Anonymous too when you get right down to it, because Anonymous is about Lulz.

        And Lulz should make you angry, or amused. All the sexist pricks achieve is making everyone tired.

        • I think you may have some mistaken ideas there. Racism does affect your cultural outlook but it does not guarantee that it will turn your community into a shit-hole. Some of the most beautiful places ever created and run by humans were run by misogynists: Rome, medieval castles and so on. You speak as if Occupy is fighting against something recent or new. They are fighting against something that has been around since we began farming or before. If you read my post again, you might be able to see the traces of sarcasm in it. I have a V mask hanging in my office and I enjoy /b/ because lulz do make me laugh.

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