Nov 24, 2006

The King of the Internet

History always repeats itself and so we should expect new kings to arise in the future. A long time ago, I heard that when society begins to topple from its sins, a man on a white horse will appear. The new king will be an incarnation of Mao, Mohammed, or Charlemagne--take your choice.

How will the king take power and who will be the king? The first question is dependent on a third question--will the web survive the toppling of society? My guess is the web won't be destroyed because it is crucial to the success of all parties to the battles. Both devils and Saints want to touch others to condemn or save souls. Rather, I believe a peacetime web may be controlled rather than destroyed, with general consortiums of web villages achieving supremacy to control most of the other web villages.

Web villages bind people together because of similar religions, backgrounds, and political and social views. A village can cross bedrooms and oceans to provide homes for people of like mind. Village citizens are characterized by:
  1. Little or no reading of local newspapers or watching of live TV
  2. Frequent connection with other villagers through the web, email, and cell phone
  3. Exposure to immense amounts of information that support the views of a particular web village
  4. Sharing common experiences so that personal allegiance to the village matures
  5. Activation of militants on projects designed to reach specific goals.
R.J. Stove writes in the Remnant News, "Should We Blog." Frankly, even though the world of the Internet has many temptations to sin, it is the framework that must be used if new Charlemagnes can come to the forefront of history. "Should We Work?" may be an alternative title for Stove's article, and if we are not yet dead, the answer has to be positive.

In the past, a one-to-many news system has meant the distribution of information from a few central locations to many people through the TV, magazines, and newspapers. In contrast, the internet is a many-to-many world, where everyone can be considered his own program director or editor. Moreover, new voices both listen and talk with their peers to form alliances and even generate more information, usually on an ad hoc basis to pursue a common goal.

The Internet democracy now consists of:
  • Almost 60 million blogs
  • Almost 130 million MySpace pages
  • Over 70 million YouTube videos watched each day.
Yet most information is acknowledged to be wrong or worthless, and some even poses considerable danger. For example, the web can show you how to kill people (both en masse and secretly) and also how to commit suicide. Additionally, the web is full of important facts mixed with biased commentary--making all information not equal.

Special Internet tools are needed to allow people to use the web to rebuild Christian civilization. Internet filters are of much greater importance to the building of a Christian presence on the internet than is commonly discussed. Directories of Christian information and Catholic blogs are also very important. The establishment and growth of Christian web villages (e.g., blogrolls, leagues) are most critical, because the web shows a polluted people that must be converted using some of the same techniques that were used to proselytize them for evil.

Some of the techniques will involve "Hive" software (think bees that make honey and swarm to protect the hive) to enable the rapid working together of many people in a village. I suspect that even an iPod may be a necessary 'gun' of militant Catholics in the future, mounted on a belt, worn as a watch, or held in a pocket to promote and defend their faith whenever necessary. [If the current pace of computer storage capacity continues, by 2015, an iPod is estimated to hold everything ever printed or broadcast in the history of the world, in any language or medium. ] "Hive" software will be needed to use this information effectively and efficiently, as required by specific militant Christians who have volunteered to serve in special team roles.

Even more, I believe "Hive" software is needed to use the democracy of the Internet to tap the intelligence of the crowd. No, I'm not talking about deciding on religious doctrine, but how best to employ group intelligence that has been demonstrated by many experiments to better judge questions of fact than individual persons. As individuals contribute to such a process, they also buy into subsequent actions. "Hive" programs will allow contributions of proposed procedures/tasks to accomplish a specific goal, then to achieve agreement on the goal, and then to manage subsequent activities that must be performed. A superhive web environment will be needed to deal with many like-minded villages in different environments.

An illustration of where this tool could have been used is the recent Missouri Stem Cell Initiative. Opposition to the cloning amendment was not well developed on the web, partly because relatively few Christian bloggers or MySpacers were identified in Missouri and most worked not at all or were alone rather than in concert with each other. With the right tools, 200 active bloggers could have motivated more interest and activities on a daily basis. Moreover, 200 people would have contributed their own ideas on what efforts would achieve the most success. Many more than two hundred Christian blogs in Missouri is reasonable within the near future because of very high growth rates in web connectivity, knowledge, and blogging.

Is this really possible? Yes, it is happening in Estonia which seems to have a lot of internet-savvy citizens. The government of Estonia has set up a website called 'Today I Decide'. Some of the policies and actions suggested by citizens have now been implemented by the government. Others are generating a lot of heat in political discussions.

Are there bad things that will likely happen? Yes, certain persons may become renegades to challenge the village raison d’être. Other maverick villagers may try to expand their own universe of beliefs or achieve a personal agenda. In both cases, identified troublemakers should be removed from the village through voting or by a village leader. Web tools such as "Hive" software should insure non-friendly input is restricted in making village decisions.

Christian villages on the web will motivate Catholics and Protestants to take the fight to the enemy and rebuild the Church. While Christian unity in the one, true Catholic Church remains a far-away dream, a subset of that unity is now possible on issues related to life, secularism, and Islam. Villages are not local churches and so should encourage membership to any friend of Christianity.

Can good Catholic Internet villages restore the Church and eventually the world? I'm betting it has already started and needs more prayer, intelligence, development, and action. Eventually, Jesus Christ must be placed in his proper place as King of the Internet.

3 comments:

cranky said...

Fascinating. I didn't know any of this.

Dust I Am said...

Just brainstorming. Sometimes I get a little carried away and there is a sizable percentage of nonsense. Please judge carefully what you read in this post.

cranky said...

Your brain storms in interesting ways. My brain is often only partly cloudy.