‘Byte or be Bitten’

By Maura Stone
Posted 7/19/19

As the new saying goes, if you want to learn how to use the latest device, whether it’s software or hardware, ask a four–year–old. In two seconds, the child will show you every …

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‘Byte or be Bitten’

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As the new saying goes, if you want to learn how to use the latest device, whether it’s software or hardware, ask a four–year–old. In two seconds, the child will show you every conceivable method in very easy to follow terms.
However, if you’re too proud or fearful to approach a child, try a Google search. Besides written instructions and manuals, there are tutorial videos on YouTube. For example, I learned how to repair my toilet, make a stencil, investigate aches and pains and research BDSM for my third award–winning novel.
According to Alexander Bard, the Internet is the latest paradigm. He’s quite a fascinating person: acclaimed Swedish musician, record producer, TV show personality, political activist and cyber-philosopher. For nearly two decades, he’s been ahead of the curve sociologically–wise. Yet unknown to the masses at large.
The question is: how did I find this man?
The answer: On the Internet.
Online, I discover people who enhance my knowledge and open my mind: the brilliant and wicked performance artist Steven Cohen, comedian turned political activist Pat Condell and the ever funny comedy blogger, James Breakwell. Not exactly household names, yet, with social media, they have a following larger than many urban populations.
Which is exactly Mr. Bard’s point in his video, “The Internet Revolution”: not only is the Internet here to stay, it’s redefining who we are, our culture, society and economy. He ascertains that right now we’re in the midst of change and the old ways of how we do business, communicate and even how we relate to each other no longer work.
In the past, the world ran on capital. That is now irrelevant because the new world operates on attention. “Attention is awareness times credibility [equals] reputation. Awareness is: do people know that you exist? When they find you exist, they have to find you credible.”
The brand new world today is now the direct interactions between people, importance of social media and its key component, ideas. “This is one of the four biggest revolutions that happened to mankind, possibly the biggest one of them all,” stated Mr. Bard. He identified the other revolutions as speech, written word and print, all methods of conveying information.
As he predicted, the Internet has usurped formerly staid businesses. Mass media—newspapers, books, paper money, television and radio—was structured to disseminate information in one direction, top down to the people. From the 1980s onward, computers and smart phones connected people directly with each other, where they commented about mass media. These comments grew exponentially and developed into Wikipedia, Google and Facebook. This is the death knell of mass media as evidenced by diminished advertising rates and shrinking newspaper staff.
Even shopping has changed as the Internet is “…getting rid of the old companies and making shortcuts between the producer and customer everywhere.” Sales for big-box stores tumbled, resulting in closures of major retail chains. Malls are dying due to online availability and convenient pricing of products.
Mr. Bard attests, “The Internet is a damn drug and we are on it. Everyone.”
I concur, as evidence supports his philosophy. We are addicts. Our obsession, once limited to desktops and laptops, became portable with iPhones. Go anywhere to view its prevalence: waiting on supermarket lines, sitting in doctor’s foyers, working out in the gym, walking on the streets and driving a car. What do all these situations have in common? A smart phone. Death by selfie has become just as normal as Googling. In fact, we can’t leave the net. “You don’t live in physical space anymore… we moved onto cyberspace,” Mr. Bard claims.
With advances in 3-D printing, holograms and virtual reality, we should continue to experience shifts in our lives and the way we live. In another 30 years, life as we know it would be unrecognizable. Artificial intelligence will come into play and perhaps with neural ports, we may live life in the Matrix, formulating identities and interconnections with fluidity.

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