An FT article of an interview with Tim Berners-Lee prompted this somewhat drafted article on the underlying human issues that are expressing in the rapidly developing Net - in its larger sense of digitally connected infrastructure. In attending the symptoms we miss the causes. Yet the forms ARE giving feedback to the Movement that is current - not only of the world - but of our personal participation as a subscriber and investor in such a world.
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To be fair, Facebook requires membership for access whereas Apple do not - as yet - lock anyone into their App Store. It remains an option. The 'lock-in' of Apple is the 'ecosystem of hardware and software that are both essentially under their control for better and for worse.
The open technology approach serves those of good will but falls down with regard for security against abuse and corruptions - as well as the issues of fragmentation into ever more complex variations. A position of control can implement protections and a degree of stability but the trust of being served and protected that is extended by members of that system can itself be neglected and abused - and usually is!
These are inherent human problems or aspects of a conflicted mentality and the root issues lie beneath technological expressions of their symptoms in the very dynamic of what we tend to simply accept as 'our mind' or indeed the human condition - which might be better called the human conditioning.
Integrity and trust, are fundamental to true sanity and communication, privacy and control tend to effect a private intent to dominate without checks of accountability or transparency. Reaction or resistance to being controlled can itself set itself up as the very thing it hates. There is a call for honest and open discernment and communication that can own our own investments and opinions without polarising against different interests.
It seems that Corporate forces drive the development of the Net, as with most else, and that the care for the integrity of the whole is only active when those interests are threatened. This is 'market forces', which is another name for war - albeit mostly managed without bloodshed - on the surface at least.
The appetite for virtual identity - on or offline - is deeply embedded in our human psyche, and drives the development of business that serves and also exploits its desires and fears.
The impulse toward honesty or congruency of being is apparently small and seemingly ineffectual - excepting to be used as a face of self justification or when asserting 'moral high ground' in a perceived conflict.
But the disintegration of a global system or indeed the corruption of the basis of the system itself, is of such an order of magnitude that it calls to mind Lewis Carroll:
Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel;
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel
To my mind the fictional characters are aspects of one mind playing out conflicting parts and enjoying the struggle. But the monstrous crow represents an order of fear and undoing such that the competitive urge to prevail can be subsumed to a willingness to serve the whole. That is to discern and trust a unified Consciousness.
To serve the whole could also be likened to the willingness of the Prodigal son's return to True Source. In the expression of this is the 'restoration of abundance and union'.
The attempt to control by imposition of power over, will in my view lead to collapse or disintegration. This is being fleshed out on a Big Canvas - and so becomes an opportunity to awaken to an entirely fresh perspective.
At times of crisis, matters that have been denied are forced into the open, and nothing can remain as it was (believed and experienced to have been). Amidst fundamental change, a fundamental trust may be regained).
If every digital event was available to being searched and found - but that such search itself was no less open, then would we attend to our legitimate business and only seek out that which we have a need or business to know - and then openly - because furtively is not available?
Would we have to be willing to be seen to be watching pornography by those who are willing to be seen to make it their business to know - and of whom all else about them was visible?
This scenario reminds me of a sense of another level of existence - if you will permit me to put it so - where every thought has immediate effect and no thought is hidden. What then would you create? It is clear that what we can think has no limit apart form the limits that our own thought sets on itself.
Our technology is bringing us to an underlying truth of which we have successfully forgotten for a very long time. The notional entity of person, nation or corporation, is in fact an expression of an interdependence in which the self is largely a virtual construct overlay upon an actual Movement that is not really ours to control so much as to embody and share.
Yet the struggle of 'virtual and notional' allegiances and identities persists even as the ground is moving out from under them.
I don't pretend to understand what is going on in the usual sense of the word, but I do feel that there are perspectives beyond those masks and identities to which we have fitted - and I write as an invitation to be innocently curious rather than defined.