Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Cory's Apocalypse

I'm back at work, which means back to being bored, which means more time for Boingboing surfing!

Today got off to a good start with a post from my favourite whipping boy, Cory Doctorow, about a new sci-fi book. In it, the internet has come crashing down and bloggers are left wandering the streets like zombies, waving around sheets of paper, desperately trying to be heard. Here's a snippit:

The recognition was plainly one way. Doctorow's crazed eyes betrayed no familiarity with my face. I was only another potential flesh-and-blood "hit" for his "site."

Doctorow carried a mud-splattered messenger's satchel over one shoulder. From this bag he now removed an old-fashioned wirebound spiral notebook and pen. He made a tick mark on paper, recording my "visit." Then he launched into his spiel.

"Welcome to a directory of wonderful things, my friend! Get ready to be amazed, thrilled and astounded! I'm going to show you stuff you never believed existed, stuff that will brighten your life, enhance your senses and enlighten your consciousness! For instance -- "

A smile crept across my face. Beautiful.

It kinda sums up my thoughts about the internet and blogging. It also brings up an argument which has been rattling around in my head for a while now, but which doesn't seem to get much media attention: how long will it be before the terrorists of the world turn their attention to the net? I mean, if I'm from some backwater Middle Eastern dust town with a mad-on for the western world, I know I would be gunning to sock it to the West in a big way by crippling the information superhighway, electronic banking operations, etc.

I mean, hell, they did it in Fight Club...don't terrorists watch movies? Savages...

Of course, you probably wouldn't be able to bring the WHOLE thing down, (that's kinda the point of an internet) but you could do some serious damage, and maybe enough that people would avoid using the thing. We've seen viruses do quite a bit of damage - if some Saudi gabagillionaire bankrolls a bunch of ubergeeks, don't you think the internet could come crashing down much like in this sci-fi tale?

Personally, I find our dependence on the net to be more than a little frightening...

"Flashback humour..."
- Tyler Durden, Fight Club

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