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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cracking The Internet Lens

If you were born after 1990, you and I are not the same. We're very different, because you've never experienced what life is like during a healthy economy. You've never known a time when optimism was a way of life. And as I wrote a while back, you've been taught to make do with what little you have rather than building your life into something bigger and better.

That's too bad. Because there's still plenty of opportunity out there. It's just that you wouldn't know it because you've spent your life viewing it through the Internet Lens.

Before you dismiss this as some older guy's rant about politics, forget it. That's not what I'm ranting about at all.  Besides, you get enough of that with your latt√© and morning bran muffin. A more appropriate consideration would be what the internet has done to irreversibly harm the market for collectibles, those once-rare items ranging from knick-knacks to cars that could only be discovered after hundreds of hours hunting.

Weren't expecting that, were you?

Collectibles, especially rare ones, aren't that tough to find any more, of course. Now you can discover just about anything you want, anywhere in the world, with a simple point and click. As a result of the internet, what was once considered rare might not actually be as elusive as once thought. It's that way with collectibles and it turns out it's that way with humans, as well.

Before the web, people who lived in the shadows and margins of humanity felt alone and isolated, usually closeted and/or shunned by the conformity of pre-internet society. Each one felt as alone and as rare as a double-struck nickel. After 1998, however, that all started to change, as the internet did what it does best, making it easier to find rare specimens -- human or otherwise -- were not quite as rare as they'd thought.

When you take three giant steps back to see the big picture, you will find people and postage stamps are not that dissimilar. In fact, they are perfect examples of life through the Internet Lens, where much of what we see, hear and view is -- by the nature of the Internet Lens itself -- skewed by the views and values of those most motivated to use the internet to discover those more like themselves.

And that's why anyone expecting any kind of impartial, politically-agnostic content would be massively disappointed in their hunt for objectivity. While the internet provides a platform for all to present their views, it's only those who are motivated to connect with others -- usually in an attempt to confirm their own self-interest -- who actually do so.

It doesn't matter if you're extreme on the left or the right or possess an ardent passion for chickens. In fact, it doesn't matter what you think or do. All that matters is that you're motivated enough to send out the call to connect with those as rare as yourself, while the rest of us conformists merely sit and endure the absence of any refutation of your views. The result is an illusory reality that is absolutely skewed by special interests -- but not by the usual cast of multi-national, corporate villains. These special interests have their own agenda and it's not at all like yours.

Welcome to life through the Internet Lens: Where rare is represented as normal, no matter how abnormal it actually may be.