Notes on the Internet and Art

, 2010

Can one be bad at the Internet?

Can one use the Internet in such a way that it is objectively-speaking bad?

Well, yes, and no.

On the one hand, yes, I'm personally bad at the Internet because I don't know every trick to get free music.

I'm also bad at the Internet because I don't know that much about how the Internet works or its history or coding languages.

In a real way, I'm bad at that stuff.

So, yes, one can be bad at the Internet.

I'm certainly bad at the Internet.

But, on the other hand, so is everyone else.

If you're good at understanding the legal frame of the Internet, you may not be good at understanding the cultural memes of the Internet — you may be bad at it.

If you've developed an elegant mathematical model of the Internet which accounts for every node, you may not understand the current security threats posed by hackers.

And so on.

In fact, we're all pretty wildly bad at using the Internet.

Perhaps that's why we cluster in circles, spinning our wheels amongst the same voices in a fit of future shock — it's a way to deal with the troubling fact of the human brain's limitations that the Internet makes obvious.

So, the problem is not whether one can be good or bad at using the Internet.

The question is badly stated.

Perhaps we can say "does one use the Internet with intention?"