Mission Statement

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I’ve been alive for half a century, which has seen change at a rate which, for some, is frankly staggering. I’ve lived through massive political and social upheaval, watched history play out around me and though all of this have relied on written media to inform and educate where personal experience was lacking. Newspapers, magazines, television providers, radio stations and all forms of educative sources… my entire life has been moulded by the words I’ve read, heard and seen. Since that British bloke ‘invented’ the Internet in 1989 words have begun a transformation: no longer do you have to wait for news to be reported, or hope you can find an objective or relevant viewpoint. Now, more often than not, history happens around you and is immediately available to dissect. The way everybody both perceives and absorbs information is altering, often at a speed that some find confusing and concerning.

This is why the Internet of Words had to happen now.

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Once upon a time, when there were no words, one assumes that communication could be quite fraught. Yet now, with the wealth of information available, so many myriad forms of conveying a message, people still misinterpret what they are given. I watch it happen every day, across all forms of media. The faster your delivery method, as a rule, the more a chance exists for misinterpretation (often followed shortly by some kind of altercation.) Once upon a time it could take weeks for news to reach across the planet: now, it can take seconds. It is no wonder that so many people are confused and often unable to cope with the sheer weight of data presented to them. As delivery systems become increasingly more sophisticated, the average brain is struggling to cope with keeping up. That’s why I’m beginning this journey, and in the months that follow hope to use the Internet of Words as my platform for investigation and (hopefully) enlightenment.

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From http://www.i-scoop.eu

I’ve been inspired for this project by the Internet of Things: the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. On the Web right now, and all across the Globe, I see and sense an emerging Internet of Words: if I had to define what this project is about, it seems like a good idea to use that definition but with the scope of language and communication as its heart:

INTERNET OF WORDS: The interconnection via the Internet of thoughts, ideas and writing styles embedded in social media, blogs, mobile apps and web pages, enabling new forms of communication.

Of course, one could argue this is already restrictive, that there is an Internet of Images
that might be considered more important, but I’m smart enough to know you learn to walk properly before running anywhere. Therefore, we will begin our journey with the tools that form a vital part of my everyday existence, that have saved me from myself on too many opportunities to recall and (most importantly) present the means by which ideas can be communicated and discussed.

I took a University degree back in the 1980’s that many of my peers considered something of a joke: Radio, Film Television Studies and English. It has taken thirty years for me to realise that this was probably the best preparation I’d ever have for living in the Internet Age: words are not just carriers of understanding, but can be weapons and symbols. The power of information is not simply understanding what you are given, but grasping how that shapes the existence around you. Learning how to see, hear and read with an objective eye is a life skill that I am staggered remains lacking in so many people, regardless of age, social status or circumstance. This is not a Millennial failing, or a CIS Male issue, it is everybody’s problem to solve, regardless. Comprehension and understanding matter more now than they have at any point in humanity’s existence as the dominant species.

Every day is a School day, after all.

The Internet of Words is a project that will include my own fictional take on the changing world we live in, essays on the issues I see as being important as we proceed into the 21st Century, plus observations on how words themselves are changing and evolving, often at a speed that some of us can find hard to keep up with. There will be spaces in our Internet for the ‘visual’ words too, and how language is used for vastly differing ends, plus how as individuals we can try and understand the more objective side of discourse and response. Thanks to the unique way the Internet now functions I will be asking people to help self fund this endeavour, via the medium of Patreon.

If you wish to become part of the Internet of Words with me when the project formally launches in June, please

on Twitter or subscribe to this WordPress site, where all future announcements around the project will be made.

One thought on “Mission Statement

  1. Marathal April 25, 2017 / 11:34 am

    Following. I whole heartedly agree. The speed life comes at us in this day and age is unfathomable. We have a local town Facebook group, last year up the street from me, a young boy, age 3, supposedly wandered off in the night, and they found him the next day unresponsive down by the river. The father had called 911 early in the morning when he noticed he was missing. Since then charges were brought against the father for his death. Jury selection has begun in the case, and a point of contention was that they wanted the jury to walk the path that the child would have had to walk to show how far it really was. A local man made a video showing the home, the child, the father in his prison clothes, and then all of the streets that were along the way. Immediately people started commenting, the father was guilty, he deserves death, last person to see the victim is always the killer. And the other side, he deserves a fair trial, never presume guilt. One particular sub posting was getting excessively heated, so the administrator of the page first tried to message the person, when that failed, was forced to temporarily remove her from the group to allow cooler heads to prevail. Immediately he was held up for scrutiny. How dare he silence free speech, he was being a Nazi, was denying people their first amendment right. When myself and another person pointed out that Facebook has limited options to stop a heated argument, the entire discussion cooled down. It was pointed out that the video, could be seen as a violation of his 6th amendment right to a fair trial, and that people were judging him in the court of public opinion.

    It really showed to me how very quickly, in the course of a few hours, one simple post could explode into a full blown argument of words and accusations. The internet is a wondrous thing, but also fraught with pitfalls. People that thrive on false web sites, embellished news stories, information on people long since forgotten drug up for the world to see. I am very interested in seeing where you go with this. Best wishes for sucess

    Like

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