I’ve been studying this concept by mapping out the Internet as if it were an actual space with geographic regions, crossovers, boundaries and cultural sectors.
Time Space Compression
Although the reduction of time/space has brought the near to the far, and the far to the near, the amount of information accessible on the net is what keeps everything running into each other.
Information is heirarchical, contained, and organized by those who use and create it. If what we find changes what we become, then we also change the nature of what we find (by voting, by page views, by advertising, by the introduction of new products/ideas).
So I would like to write about what I’m going to call Trickle-Down Ideonomics, the speed of ideas in reduced time geographies.
The Digital Derive
Wandering the net through different sectors is like going through the net in the French ‘derive’, alluded to by Guy DeBord. Another side project I am going to do will involve videotaping a jaunt through cyberspace during different times of day under different circumstances (caffeinated, tired, awake, morning, night, drunk, stoned, around friends ect., in order to see how these states affect what I decided to look at online. I’d also like to track waste of idea and information flows).
“In the era of sofware, of light modernity, the effectiveness of time as a means of value-attainment tends to approach infinity; with the paradoxical effect of levelling up (or rather down) the value of all units in the field of potential objectives” (Bauman, 118).
“The question mark has moved from the side of the means to tat of the ends. If applied ot the same time-space (that is in ‘no-time’), no part of space is private, none has ‘special value’ (Bauman, 118).
As Durkheim states, the nature of society is to go from mechanic to organic. In the case of the net, Google is amassing so much gravity that it is pulling in all of the Internet data around it, binding sites to its successful law of social gravity. Galaxies start out as shifting clouds of dust and gasses. This chaos, once aged, begins to compress in on itself and, through gravity, becomes orderly. In the case of the Web, the center gravitational point of this galaxy is Google. The spiral arms are Flickr, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Myspace, Digg, Technorati, Blogger, ect…
But galaxies don’t stop at the spiral arm age. The become eliptical galaxies, and eventually compress into black holes… When will this happen? What will the Web look like then? How long will it take? Will it be utopic or fascist? We’ll probably know in 20 years.
Digital –> Idea ‘Capitals’ Geographies
Idea capitals on the net would be communities of bloggers, extensions of conferences and developer networks (designers, programmers, ect.) that push out onto the web from different parts of the world.
These sectors of the net are the digital equivalent of idea ‘capitals’, in that geographic capitals are areas of concentrated, quickly moving time/ideas, especially in capitals of creative culturals.
Analog –> fashion ‘capitals’ (events), then trickle down of those in the industry. Or, in creative cultural sites (pre net), an analog dispersion of ideas through fax machines, print journals, and mail.
So then we look to the speed of ‘idea’ — on the net, there is the same form of the trickle down of ideas as there is in reality, but it is done in the absence of space. Time is not completely reduced in this space.
If all parts of space can be reached at any moment, thwre is no reason to worry about securing the right of access to any” (Bauman, 118), because the density of information determined what information geography a person exists in.
The Youtube geography is similar to a country, and like a country, it is is full of different sectors while also being connected to different websites (of course, this is a seed argument. This analogy must be strengthened with research into the construction and nomenclature of cities, towns, boundaries, ect.)