“This whole sassiness thing – everything's got to be sarcastic, everything's got to be knowing, everything's got to be cynical. You've got to be on top of your shit twenty-four hours a day. THAT is exhausting. It's just far better to go, you know what? I'm just basically a monkey in a dress, and the best I can hope for every day is just to be nice, to smile as much as possible, to be gentle, try and be a bit understanding, work really hard, go and smell some flowers, have a cup of tea, ring your mum if you get on with her, just kind of dial it down a bit. ”—Caitlin Moran
Some people say that the internet has created a more angry, selfish, aggressive culture.
Today alone I have experienced so much through the internet that has revealed more support, goodwill, and empathy than would never be possible without such a large, international network.
There’s this interview with author John Green about his new book, which was inspired by his work with child cancer patients and his encounter with Esther Earl, another cancer patient that passed away recently, whom he met through the online community that he created with his brother. The community itself is an excellent example of the kind of positive support that I’m talking about, but I’m choosing to focus on his interview in particular because John says this: “…in 2008 I met a young woman who had cancer who was a reader of my books, and through knowing her it became possible to write that story.”
Then there’s this blog post by Jenny Lawson, who recently, tentatively admitted to performing self-harm, which is something that’s difficult to live with (to put it mildly) and even more difficult to confess. The post that I’ve linked to is the post that she wrote in the aftermath, out of gratitude to the many, many, many people who wrote her emails, comments, and tweets of support and appreciation. If that’s not a positive effect of the internet, then I don’t know what is.
I think people have a tendency to focus on the negative aspects of the internet simply because it’s so easy to do so. The internet hasn’t made people more angry, selfish, or aggressive, it’s just made them more vocal. I could open any site with a comments feature right now and find any number of negative, vicious comments. They’re highly visible and numerous, which is why they’re easy to focus on, but what people forget is that these comments hold no weight in the world. They were written in a flash of hatred and adrenaline and will disappear just as quickly.
What will last are things like John Green’s book, the real life community brought about by the Green brothers’ virtual community, and the positive effects on Jenny Lawson’s life brought about by her readers. People have been able to reach out to others, to achieve lifelong dreams, and to create all kinds of art that is shared with millions of people every day because of the internet.
In closing, I just like the internet okay. I think it’s like pretty cool and junk, and uh that’s a bunch of reasons why.
“The Internet is creating markets that enable us to own much less. The winner of the ebook sweepstakes will be the bookseller who becomes a bookrenter. I don’t want to own hundreds of books on a Kindle at $10 a pop. I want to Netflix them — pay for access to every book ever published. I’d rather be a renter in Borges’ library than the owner of my own.”—Wired, Abandon Ownership! Join the Rentership Society!
How I choose fanfic, part 2
- Me: Reads through rec-lists, finds a promising story.
- Me: Hovers over link, notices it goes to fanfiction.net.
- Me: Rails at author for not posting either on AO3 or LJ.
- Me: Closes tab, moves on to the next fic on the list, with Adele in the background - "We could have had it all..."
“Friedrich Nietzsche established the “declaring things dead” form, when—after trying about 400 other aphorisms in The Gay Science—he struck gold with “God is dead” in 1882. Fifty percent hyperbole, 50 percent trolling. Well played, Nietzsche.”—
From “Declaring Things Dead is Dead” Via Slate.
Existentialists were pioneers of trolling.