If you were to think about the greatest invention of all time, what would you pick? While there were many necessary inventions that needed to manifest before the idea was even plausible, the creation of the Internet should be right up there as the greatest invention to date for humanity. Obviously the natural gifts given to us by the universe are at the pinnacle of human consciousness, but the cultivation of the Internet has the ability to transcend these gifts to new heights not yet witnessed.
In many ways, the Internet is completely transforming society and priming it for what looks like a paradigm shift in social design and culture. We are on the cusp of something profound and transformational, but if we don’t protect the free and open access of the Internet, we could squander the value this tool possesses and very well slip right back into the continual cycle of wealth inequality, war, and unsustainability.
So what makes the Internet so powerful?
The Interconnection Of The World
One of the main reasons the Internet is so transformational in society is because it has interconnected the world like no other time in known history. People can literally communicate with each other all over the world almost instantaneously, and with very little to no cost. We can literally almost be in the presence of any human being through the click of a mouse, just by making a simple Skype call. Never in human history have people all over the world been able to communicate so simply and efficiently, with few control barriers to get in the way.
As a result, whole new sets of ecosystems are developing that transcend boundaries on a map, and instead connects the minds of individuals that could have never connected before. Every day new systems of people voluntarily connecting with each other are sprouting up and taking shape, as well as the interconnection of previously disconnected networks through bridges facilitated by the Internet. With all these minds crunching together ideas and compiling data, humanity is entering a new age in human consciousness, the Age of Information.
The Age Of Information
In the past, information was scattered all over the world, disconnected from each other, and making it next to impossible to piece together any coherent whole in terms of forming an accurate depiction of objective reality. The differences in ideologies that result from scattered data points is clear, as groups from all different ways of life clash and fight about what is the true objective reality. The problem is that we never had access to the same information. This results in a bunch of people caught up in their limited subjective perceptions of the world, which often only tell part of the story. Now however, many of the pieces are all being compiled on to one platform, which all have access too.
When you have so many minds processing large data dumps that pour in daily from all over the world, inevitably over time, it is going to lead to the revelations of many objective truths that were previously obscured. The unveiling of truth that results when data is cross-analyzed through a plethora of human minds has the unique ability to break down barriers and change the world like never before. While computers have allowed man to work at speeds not yet seen before, the potentiality and power of many human minds working together is infinitely more powerful than even the largest super computers, due to the unbounded reservoir of creativity and intuition they possess. Through the re-education of the populace due to better-refined data points, the age of information is steadily catapulting us into the Age of Activism.
The Age Of Activism
After one is exposed to more and more quality information over time, there comes a point when one realizes that they must do something with this information, rather than purely gather it for entertainment process. While knowing all the problems going on in the world is important, because how can you solve a problem if you don’t know what the root cause of the problem truly is, it means nothing in the end if you don’t physically act upon it. Many New Age followers get caught up in the idea that they can just think positive and ignore the darkness that is present all around them. Despite how nice this may sound or how much you may want this to be true, the reality is that darkness is never going to dissipate until you physically act and shine light upon it.
While there are many trap doors and forces of resistance that will try with all their might to hold back the winds of change, they will not succeed if enough people wake up and start participating. It has always been a game of numbers; and over time the elite have often won these battles, but now humanity has a tool so powerful that it could completely level the playing field. Thanks in large part to the Internet’s ability to facilitate mass decentralized political actions and create alternative currencies that transcend borders, the peer-to-peer economy is primed to explode and completely shift the power away from the elite class and back into the hands of the people. When all beings start to receive the value they put into the world, a new Age of Love starts to emerge, where peace actually has a change of prevailing across the lands.
The Age Of Love
When people are granted access to powerful tools and able to control their own destiny, the vast majority of humanity operates from an area of love rather than fear. While no world will ever be perfect, there is a certain truth to the fact that people cooperate with each other when put in good positions to do so, infinitely more than they fight with each other. The rise in consciousness among humanity due to the exposure of better information clearly has the ability to bring about more peace to human civilization than any government, central bank, or leader could ever bring about.
What’s profound is that love is a positive feedback loop in terms of energy, in that the more it is manifested in reality by individual points, the more it affects the surrounding environment it operates within, which means more love is spread amongst the network. Unfortunately, fear has the same ability, which is pristinely evident in today’s world of 24/7 fear porn. Ultimately love can always illuminate the dark, but that doesn’t mean that those dark elements in society will not give everything they have to completely swallow humanity and put out the flame we call the Internet. There is a full fledge campaign to censor and control the Internet, so we better get hip to this before it’s too late.
If there is one mistake the elite regret most, it could easily be argued that letting the cat out of the bag with the Internet would be right up there at the top of the list. However, many people will counter with the point that the elite have an even greater stranglehold over society thanks to Internet, primarily due to the build up of the surveillance state, the development of smart grids, and the mountain of disinformation/misinformation that is pumped onto the Internet every second. You’re a fool if you deny these realities and continue to pretend like humanity wont have to confront the dark forces head-on in an inevitable clash with the elite titans over control of the Internet.
The elite are gunning more and more for the Internet everyday, with bills already making their rounds through Congress and even more bills waiting in the wings if those prove unsuccessful. I would strongly argue that those in the upper echelons of the super-state understand that power is slipping more and more everyday due to a free and open Internet. The Internet is literally creating new governments, new economies, and as a results, new power structures in society. Anyone atop the old financial system sees this as a threat whether they realize it consciously or subconsciously. Some are holding on to old systems, but the smart elites are evolving their tactics by trying to ride the wave of the Internet and subvert it in order to lockdown humanity into a technocratic, one world system. If you can’t stop it, join it and infiltrate it. However, that can only happen if people sit back idly and do nothing. This is a choice we all face, but if we are serious about real systemic change, then it’s paramount we protect the free and open access of humanity to the collective consciousness that is expressed through the network we call the Internet.
If we were to look at all of humanity as one collective being that is connected on some higher level, aka the Earth as a single organism, it would appear that the Internet has manifested into some form of a collective consciousness for humanity. I find it not coincidence at all the Internet, the human mind, and the universe all appear very similar when compared next to each other. They all look like decentralized networks of nodes, all interconnected through a variety of webs that is constantly changing by the second, aka consciousness. It only makes sense too, when we think of the Internet as a vast collection of data, all compiled into one spot that is sifted through and structured by the billions of minds that make it up, which inevitably leads to some type of pattern we can refer to as the collective consciousness.
If we believe in intelligence and value progress, then like the universe and the human mind, we must keep the Internet free and open, so it has the capacity to grow and explore new heights not yet seen before. Things that are under control do not grow, just like a mind that is closed and programmed through propaganda does not think outside the box. The Internet is the holy grail of human technology and collective awareness, so we better not let some parasitic beings take that from us.
Aaron Schwartz, a prominent Internet activist that developed Reddit and the idea of the Creative Commons, understood the importance of an open society and the free flow of information. I encourage everyone to read the Open Access Guerilla Manifesto he wrote just before he died of a mysterious suicide. This was his call for a new, free world; and his words still beat stronger than ever.
Guerilla Open Access Manifesto:
Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations. Want to read the papers featuring the most famous results of the sciences? You’ll need to send enormous amounts to publishers like Reed Elsevier.
There are those struggling to change this. The Open Access Movement has fought valiantly to ensure that scientists do not sign their copyrights away but instead ensure their work is published on the Internet, under terms that allow anyone to access it. But even under the best scenarios, their work will only apply to things published in the future. Everything up until now will have been lost.
That is too high a price to pay. Forcing academics to pay money to read the work of their colleagues? Scanning entire libraries but only allowing the folks at Google to read them? Providing scientific articles to those at elite universities in the First World, but not to children in the Global South? It’s outrageous and unacceptable.
“I agree,” many say, “but what can we do? The companies hold the copyrights, they make enormous amounts of money by charging for access, and it’s perfectly legal — there’s nothing we can do to stop them.” But there is something we can, something that’s already being done: we can fight back.
Those with access to these resources — students, librarians, and scientists — you have been given a privilege. You get to feed at this banquet of knowledge while the rest of the world is locked out. But you need not — indeed, morally, you cannot — keep this privilege for yourselves. You have a duty to share it with the world. And you have: trading passwords with colleagues, filling download requests for friends.
Meanwhile, those who have been locked out are not standing idly by. You have been sneaking through holes and climbing over fences, liberating the information locked up by the publishers and sharing them with your friends.
But all of this action goes on in the dark, hidden underground. It’s called stealing or piracy, as if sharing a wealth of knowledge were the moral equivalent of plundering a ship and murdering its crew. But sharing isn’t immoral — it’s a moral imperative. Only those blinded by greed would refuse to let a friend make a copy.
Large corporations, of course, are blinded by greed. The laws under which they operate require it — their shareholders would revolt at anything less. And the politicians they have bought off back them, passing laws giving them the exclusive power to decide who can make copies.
There is no justice in following unjust laws. It’s time to come into the light and, in the grand tradition of civil disobedience, declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture.
We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world. We need to take stuff that’s out of copyright and add it to the archive. We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access.
With enough of us, around the world, we’ll not just send a strong message opposing the privatization of knowledge — we’ll make it a thing of the past. Will you join us?
July 2008, Eremo, Italy