Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Internet's Eleven Rules

In yesterday's piece I could be said to have been teasing the Internet. I suggested perhaps that the Internet has an ever so slightly limited array of abilities.  Like all my work here I expected it to sink quietly into the waves and fall into the deepest shadowy depths of time, only to be discovered much later by confused future beings. So I was surprised to awake this morning and find that every screen and device I encountered, at my house, in my car, and at work, came up, unbidden in any way, with the following message:

Dear Internet Denizen:

Don't panic. Your devices will be returned to you shortly.

We just wanted you to know, in a friendly way, that your 'post' yesterday was in breach of Internet Protocol eleven-nineteen.

We have no doubt this was an accident.

Nevertheless we thought it might help you to review the following principles.

1. Do not discuss the Internet on the Internet.

2. You are, however, allowed to use the phrase "The Internet is amazing" in any context.

3. There is nothing that can be that good if it is not popular.

4. We never discuss how something becomes popular. It is always self evident.

5. You must pretend that you know how everything works or you must pretend not to care.

6. It is only others that give us meaning.

7. Wherever you are on the Internet is everywhere.

8. It is always the user's error.

9. Sweet, sweet outside, bitter inside, yes. Bitter outside, sweet inside, no.

10. You have already signed this contract.

11. Everything is possible because everything is here.

We enjoy having you be part of us and fervently hope this can be helpful to you. It would be unfortunate if it wasn't.

Thank you for your attention.

The Internet

I don't know exactly what to think of this. It's vaguely insidious, but the use of my devices was returned to me. And it's just so nice to be noticed!

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If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.