1.30.2006

Their problem child

Here's one of those darned stories that never quite seems important enough to grab attention in the U.S. media. Maybe it's too trivial. Anyway, according to a declassified document, it seems the Pentagon seeks to gain "control of the entire electromagnetic spectrum."

As the article puts it:
The US military seeks the capability to knock out every telephone, every networked computer, every radar system on the planet.
Part of its plan to "fight the net." Which is funny, because it created the net in the first place. Kinda like the story of LSD, which boils down to: "Dang! It's doing things we didn't mean for it to. Reel 'er in, boys."

If the Internet vanished tomorrow ... would you miss it?

5 comments:

MSF said...

miss it? i would spontaneously combust with despair.

Trevor Jackson said...

I'd probably spend the day hitting F5 on my keyboard thinking, It'll come back any minute. It'll come back. It has to. 404 page branded on my retinas.

Re the military and the net: See also weapons, nuclear. They're nothing if not consistent.

Grendel said...

I have to admit I would miss it too. But what I hardly ever think about is what am I missing because of it? The Internet reduces much of the perceived outer world to a flat, square box of pixelated, patterned luminosity. And really, if I step back from that, how much of my life am I spending perceiving reality in this radically reduced manner? What is it doing to my consciousness? Did life spend all those billions of years evolving me to Google? How do I make a value comparison between picking through 16,000 hits for "Cheney Halliburton contractors" and appreciating the smell of the pines in Hickory Hill Park and the movements of the creatures scurrying around them? What will it end up meaning for my life that I spent more time typing and reading screens than talking with people?

Trevor Jackson said...

I hear ya. Sadly my response is to refer you to a link, but it's a good and well written one about this very issue. The line I'll never forget is "Can you link to sunlight?"

Grendel said...

Trevor, thanks for that link. Very funny. My favorite part:

Did Gawker update? Did you write back to me? Did you leave a comment on my site? Did someone buy a blogad? Did someone send me a book? WE GET THOSE THINGS EVERY MINUTE, AND STILL WE ARE NOT SATISFIED.

The tone reflects the anxiety I feel sometimes when I'm online just fucking goofing off. Sometimes I'll catch myself glancing at the little corner clock to see how many minutes I've been on a Web site, and if it seems like one or two too many, I click away headlong into whatever information tunnel seems aptest at the millisecond, panicking that the darned sites aren't coming up faster. Do I have Web OCD?

I need to tape a piece of paper (remember those?) to my laptop:

CLOSE FIREFOX, GET UP, WALK AROUND, BREATHE, BE WITH 3-D THINGS

Instead I wrote this comment.