I read Alexis C. Madrigal’s article on the Atlantic: “Google and Facebook Failed Us” and it got me thinking.
There is a structural problem with the Internet, and I think it is something we still haven’t fully come to understand or grasp. It is the only point of distribution and communication for a large portion of our social, economic, and technological existence. We don’t live in a democratized online space, switching back and forth between different communication streams, we live permanently attached to a single, massive, Network 23.
We do everything through Network 23. We watch our news and our entertainment. We order food, talk to our doctors and even arrange our medical care. We do our banking and we work all on Network 23. Our social interactions, our art, our culture, even our government and our forms of activism, have all been migrated to this giant network, and because we see all of these things as separate entities we think that they are part of different communications structures. At a very core level, though, they are not.
The reality is that Google and Facebook are just two shows on this network. They’re the biggest. They …