DRIVING DRUNK – on the information highway
Six words that should strike fear in anyone within earshot are “Hold my beer and watch this..”. That fear would be compounded if the person so inclined is also getting behind the wheel and headed out into traffic. …….. DANGER !!
It’s not hard to imagine doing that on the information highways of the internet. We have now all witnessed how “funny” it is to watch as YouTube displays the latest idea of good humor (or bad taste) or even well intentioned serious effort.
Like so many addicts, we are prone to the intoxicating euphoria of this newfound freedom, to be able to get behind the wheel of a new vehicle for cruising main-stream thought-lines, a new way of “being seen” as being smart (…?).
We are now able to do and then be seen doing virtually anything, everywhere. You might think that with all that collective intellect we could have devised some collective intelligence – some common sense by which to actually solve common problems – or at least avoid uncommon stupidity – in plain sight of virtually everyone.
That is now the online intersection where we find ourselves – looking at the traffic jams of information gridlock – lacking a traffic circle approach to keep moving forward while merging with fellow travelers. Never mind the tow trucks hauling away those whose internet startup stalled out, those whose path forward resulted in a rear-end collision with a slow-moving funding vehicle, or those who have been pulled over for a belching exhaust of offensive content or asked to walk the straight line of an IP sobriety test. There is even an occasional stolen car when some spammer hijacks the privileges of others, or when some self-approved internet guru takes some unsuspecting subscribers hostage and along for a meandering joy-ride, only to be chased down later by higher authorities.
As we now mature (online) we can and must move beyond the adolescence that fuels our need to be seen and heard – of just “finding ourselves” or showing off (as if someone else really cared). It is time to change the rules of the road, individually and collectively. The road trip is over and we need to learn to come home to some sanity. Or if we really plan on going somewhere, we need to “know before we go”.
These new virtual highways are useful, they just need some “infrastructure” planning. They can be just a corridor for an endless array of roadside signs – beckoning us to choose this content and that offer, even a free sample here and there. They can offer us the well marked road to a suitable destination, or a mis-marked road that only leads to a dead end in the desert of good intentions – perhaps just another wasted effort to create yet another redundant initiative to reduce the carbon foot-print of our inefficiency, or to try (again) to find “world peace” – or other such mirage. Are we hopelessly lost and, making good time?.
When we decide how best to help those who pursue information to actually find viable pathways – then these corridors will afford us a pleasant journey and a safe arrival. We have to become responsibly interoperable, converging our opinions and merging into consensus around the traffic circles of influence and direction. We will need the decision-making features of a GPS to define our critical path. We each have to take responsibility for our personal journey – and the well being of others along the way. Need I even mention texting while driving..?
Maybe it is timely to consider a mental ignition lock that warns us before we are enabled to put ourselves in gear or others at risk – by publishing, promoting, and using the wrong information – that leads us toward the wrong conclusions.
Why do we need that – what would it look like – and how could it work for each of us individually – and for all of us collectively, globally?
Is there a 1-800-U-ASK4-IT phone number for getting the information highway current condition report that I need – when I need it – from those who are credible – and know the best route to my success? Has anyone seen the virtual bumper sticker on our mutual backsides suggesting that someone act responsibly and turn us in if we are seen to be driving to conclusions erratically – aggressively – dangerously? Where is the U-Netted Nations organization for Citizens Against Online Stupidity – and the real-world collisions and CAOS that those decisions create?
Is there actually a way to change the way we think (individually) so we (collectively) can manage the way we change – “virtually everything..” – 24/7/365 – in our new virtual world?
Maybe we can help each other along the road – and mutually share the benefits.
It just might be worth it. Ride-share anyone..?
Written by gsbigger
August 14, 2010 at 8:26 am