What is the Internet?
His point was that the Internet is not the transport. In other words, no matter what Comcast or Verizon or AT&T do, they do not and cannot "own" the Internet. No one can.
The more I thought about it, the deeper the answer got. The Internet is not the servers or services connected to it. The Internet is not even (really) the people who use it, who provide content or download that content. And it is not the content, either.
The Internet is a larger, greater, more important result. It is Version 1.0 of a Global Mind. That is the result of connecting all these servers, all this knowledge, all these opinions, or making it available to anyone whose network can access a TCP/IP link that, eventually, can reach a DNS address.
When you think about the Internet in this way, a sort of What the Bleep model, your priorities for it shift just a little bit. Maybe more than a little bit.
- Who cares if sex or hate are there? Are they not part of the human condition?
- Your success as a society depends on your ability to contribute and learn from this resource. It becomes a higher priority.
- A public property model becomes imperative.
Anything which is kept off the Internet is no longer part of the group
discussion. This does not mean it is not discussed. This means the
subject goes into the dark recesses of the human soul, the secret
places no government or psychologist can reach, the animal mind where
death resides. Do we want that?
Given this model of the Internet, how can we let any company control
what is done by its users? How can there not be net neutrality — it’s
a natural component of human freedom we’re talking about now, not your
Given this model of the Internet, we must educate our children about
its dangers. But we can’t deny it to them, any more than we can keep
them from growing up.
Given this model of the Internet, it becomes everyone’s business to
gain and keep the best possible access to it, no matter where we happen
Given this model of the Internet, the adventure has barely begun.