- Oscar Brown, Jr.
ON ENTERING A NEW WORLD
It has been observed that those who control the means of production dominate any society. The society of cyberspace is, therefore, subject to the domination of those who can produce ideas and images with the greatest public appeal. It provides for a populist command of culture. For the sake of survival, this command must be seized by those whose creativity can make the most nourishing contributions to human affairs. If it is safe to assume that the cream will rise to the top, then truth and beauty should win any popularity contest. However, it is the people themselves who will ultimately determine what is truthful and beautiful. Reason is being challenged to operate in its own best interests, rather than remain addicted to degrading displays, deliberately developed to divert the public's attention away from issues vital to its well being.
Where government investigation reveals the enormous political potential of the internet, self-preservation dictates that details of the discovery be kept secret. Similarly, corporations motivated exclusively by profits, certainly will not reveal information promoting a world wide web that might reduce or eliminate them. Therefore, the revolutionary potential of cyberspace will have to be discovered and described by internet explorers who are independent of corporate or government interests. Inquiring minds must seek new forms of human relationships and new ways of influencing and directing human affairs. It is a freedom to which our race is so unaccustomed that our initial steps in cyberspace are halted, cautious, and uncertain about this unfamiliar expanse that unfolds before our eyes. Old ways of communicating are being tested to see if they can adapt to new communication techniques. The question is: what programs can be developed to keep pace with technological advances that are made so rapidly they seem to explode? It is high time to innovate. Improvisation is the order of the day.
At present, it is the rule of no rule, but as more and more millions enter cyberspace, some sort of order undoubtedly will develop. Spheres of influence and ideological alliances will form as minds meet worldwide. Codes and lingoes will mask the meanings of messages when global plots are hatched by players who today are not even in the game. Peculiarly, there are no "natives" in cyberspace to be conquered and enslaved. It is a territory where no flags can be planted, corporate claims staked, nor military bases built. No doubt the "conquest" of cyberspace is being planned by "control freaks" who, even as we speak, are busy developing a virus or something to give them exclusive rights to everything they can seize. However, before they can take over, perhaps the most "creative anarchists" in the world will make understanding and wisdom as popular as a fad. The human race will then have reached a higher plane in its quest for fulfillment, leading to a greater range of difficulties and rewards. It is evolution at computer speed. And beyond.
Cyberspace is in fact a new world. A world above the world. An awesome unknown that, like life and death, we just must face to get to heaven or hell. Satan, however, must be sick. Just when everything was going to hell, cyberspace gives heaven a level playing field on which to mount a righteous counterattack. The pendulum is fixing to swing the other way. The truth is about to come out.