Rules of the internet

Does popular culture follow its own rules? Is there a deeper truth where urban legends meet modern technologies? Let us brainstorm together. Read more here, here, and here.

The rules of the internet

Internet was first used for communication between scientists, but in 1990s it was already everywhere. Yet not everyone knew how to work with the new media. So people developed the rules of the internet. There were no good search engines, social media or DMCA, but there were urban legends.

One of these legends was a collection of rules for the internet. I quote one example of this urban legend:

Rule 1: Do not talk about rules 2-33
Rule 34: There is porn of it. No exceptions.
Rule 35: The exception to rule #34 is the citation of rule #34.
Rule 36: Anonymous does not forgive.
Rule 37: There are no girls on the internet.
Rule 38: A cat is fine too
Rule 39: One cat leads to another.

Here is another example:

3. We are Anonymous.
4. Anonymous is legion.
5. Anonymous does not forgive, Anonymous does not forget.
6. Anonymous can be horrible, senseless, uncaring monster.
7. Anonymous is still able to deliver.

It feels like some of the rules still apply, right?

The wild west of entertainment

Somehow it feels that porn is the most technologically advanced form of entertainment. In some European brothels, people love robots that look and talk like human beings. Japanese get married to their toys. The artificial intelligence adds the head of one lady to the body of another.  Why do men love so strange things?

The answer here is very complex and takes us to the origins of the blonds. In the cold forests of Finland or Sweden, food was scarce. While in the middle east polygamy was common, in the Norse there was not enough food for the women. Men had to think twice about which lady they should marry and feed. Inbreeding was common and dangerous. So the men that could afford, married the women that would diversify the genetic pool. Diverse body shapes, colors of hair and eyes were very needed infusions of genetic materials. Once the blond mutation became evident, it spread slowly from the far north through Europe. At least this is one common theory.

When we consider love and war, everything goes.  We will see the most advanced technologies in military use and in porn. The military use will be secret. The porn will be visible for all who desire to see it. The first internet use, augmented reality use, deep fake and other technologies will be in porn. And if the particular implementation is not dangerous [some porn can kill], nobody will care about it.

Weaponization and arms race

Once we mentioned the element of love, we should also mention the element of war. Every invention I could think of was weaponized. Cyber-weapons are the strategical weapons of our period: expensive, selective, and extremely effective. People who develop and use this arsenal prefer to stay in the shadows. They are anonymous.

Most of the cyber weapon developers are overall nice, patriotic, and geeky individuals. They write and configure software systems, and watch these systems deployed. The technological aspects are exciting, and the ethical aspects are often very murky. If you develop technology for your country you are a patriot. If you migrate this technology to business use, you are smart.  Only the very few who are caught doing unspeakable things are labeled as criminals or worse.

Military technology does not undergo the same level of scrutiny and regulation as commercial tech. So some of the best technology we enjoy was first weaponized and then declassified. Computers and communication are at the forefront of these technologies.

Why so cute?

Most men will occasionally admire porn or weapons. This does not mean we want to wield either all day long. Most of us prefer doing something productive, and when we rest admire something cute. And what can be cuter than a cat? Why are the domestic animals cute?

Many people think that we domesticated cats and dogs. The real history was somewhat different. Dogs followed us because we leave scraps. Cats follow the rodents in our grain. Both dogs and cats did not want to be killed and eaten by savage human hunters. The evolutionary path the worked was one of symbiosis.

The animals that are cute generation after generation dropped their scarry ferocious characteristics and tried to copy human babies. Compare the voices of our cats and dogs with pumas and wolves. The change is extreme. The animals that survived developed the traits needed to live side by side with us and in our homes.  The cute individuals got scraps and the occasional pet. The less cute individuals were hunted and killed. By the way, if our own babies were less damn cute, the primitive humans would probably kill the kids.

Cats and dogs are cute. We love them. We love watching them and playing with them. It is the engine of their survival.

Women lived off-line, at least in the 1990s

Porn and weapons are gender-specific interests. Women are less interested in technology and more interested in deep and meaningful communication. When we consider mental illnesses, women are often x10 times less likely to suffer from them.

The Y chromosome is a very simple and primitive chromosome when compared with the X chromosome. Women are somehow more robust. They have higher endurance. They live longer. Even intelligence is associated with the X chromosome, not the Y. Being somewhat more primitive, we, men, need to try new shiny things, shout about them, and fight for dominance.

Every new technology attracts x10 more men than women. This particular claim is not backed by science, but many of you will agree with it. Once the technology is effective and useful, women will come and perfect it. Today women are more effective than men with social media, messaging apps, and site content. I think I get x10 more guest articles from women. But now the tech is well known and established.

The 1990s internet was a wild west, and if you met a woman online, that could easily be a man pretending to be a woman.

Are urban legends true?

Most urban legends are false, but they developed from deep and real observations. People ask the right questions, only the right answers are boring. So legends are created instead.

Consider the following statement: “There was no sex in the Soviet Union”. Is it true? No. Where there are humans there will be sex and there will be some sort of power struggle. Only the entire system of education and mass communication tried to hide those sides of the Soviet lives.

The strong primal emotions and actions glorified in urban legend make us feel uneasy. We love excitement, but we value our safety much more.

Should we learn urban legends of the past and the present?

Rule 48: ???
Rule 49: Profit.
Rule 50: You can not divide by zero.

Some questions will stay unanswered. Others will be manipulated. If something defies logic, probably you missed an important and illegal step of derivation.

Attention traps

The universe is not friendly or hostile. It is full of other individuals with their own agendas. Some will be peaceful and friendly. Others will have predatorial intentions. When we are online, predators hunt for our attention. Something like facebook is the perfect trap.

Rule 42: It is delicious cake. You must eat it.
Rule 43: It is a delicious trap. You must hit it.

It does not really matter if we get hurt. People who hurt us often want to remain anonymous. Some of them become billionaires. Others go to jail. They create attention traps, and as long as we are in the trap we pay the bill.

Your attention is as important as your time or money. Possibly your privacy was more important, but I think that battle is already lost. Try to control at least where your attention goes. Otherwise, you will not work on your own agendas.

Opium for the people

I quote wikipedia

Karl Marx, the founder and primary theorist of Marxism, viewed religion as “the soul of soulless conditions” or the “opium of the people”. At the same time, Marx saw religion as a form of protest by the working classes against their poor economic conditions and their alienation.

In the 1990s the god was nowhere to be seen, but this paragraph could be said about the internet. Later it could be said about social media, then about mobile phones. What kind of false religion is our technology constructing right now?

If we are not careful, we will fall into a trap. Even worse we may end up building traps for other travelers. Do not do that… Do not be evil…

Network power

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