Where do we go from here?
There are many web-links sprinkled throughout the site (and remember to click on some of them pictures). I won't restate the links here.
However, before you leave, you would be well advised to visit this guest site I am hosting.
Go for a walk
Remember the outside world? Not always pretty, but inspiration fodder to say the least.
Or keep on surfing
I have mixed feelings about the web. I find claims that the Web is the cauldron of a brave new world-community dubious at best.
In fact, I often think quite the contrary is true.
The only sites I visit daily are dedicated to specialized micro-communities. Sites about the Macintosh, about making music with this or that piece of software. Most avid web-surfers I know do the same. So yes, you can widen your micro-community to the entire globe, but it'll still be a bunch of nerds talking about model airplanes, Linux, stamp collecting, or hand-puppets.
Any mention of politics and culture are carefully avoided.
I remember the sense of awe a few years back, stuck in a valley in upstate New York, with no T.V. or Radio. There I was, listening to French radio via the Net. Très cool.
But this too, promotes micro-community-thinking. More than ever, you can live in a foreign country and access your home-town news, and not feel compelled to participate in the local culture.
Take that silly war in Iraq for instance.
Everyday, I read the mainstream press from the US, from the UK, and from France (and occasionally from other English- or French-speaking countries).
It was educational to observe how differently the war was covered. By and large, the American and French press were 99% behind their respective governments' stances. (Bravo to the BBC, for their independance, and because no subject was taboo).
But in the end, even though Yanks could easily see through their governments' lies if they really wanted to, most seemed to choose not to, and there was little evidence of much successful transatlantic meme-exchange.
On the contrary, being exposed to alternate world views seemed to exacerbate knee-jerk, unthinking, nationalistic, community thinking, pretty much everyone a loyal and faithful (and uncritical) flag-bearer, splashing around in their private little pools of certainty, nobody listening to anybody but themselves.
But it doesn't even matter. The written word was totally overshadowed by TV-propaganda anyway. Overall a pretty distressing picture...
So what do you do when you are depressed?
If you're an American at least, you go shopping of course! And how handy! the Internet is the ultimate global supermarket. It's certainly great to be able to shop for stuff you can't find in your corner of meatspace. Too bad if you don't earn enough to play (you can always window-shop instead).
I actually shop quite a bit online. I order groceries once
a month (usually including 12 liters of mineral water and 12 liters of
milk that I thus don't have to carry home on foot). I buy English
and American books and DVDs that are hard to find in France. And yesterday,
I actually bought a refrigerator
on-line (as a favor to my brother,
but I'll spare you the gory details).
You've got mail
So e-mail remains the "killer-application" of the Internet, although thanks to SPAM, that could very well come to an end, unless of course you are looking to "Enlarge your penis!", "Get out of debt!", "Turn your life around with Viagra!", "Become an egg donor and make big bucks!", or engage in other similar 21st century pursuits.