Damien's rationale

24 November 1995

This biohazard symbol is that of the Church of Virus, used by it as a form of "truth in advertising": you are being warned that there are infectious memes there. Of course all memes are supposed to be infectious, but more care has been put into the Church, even as I am putting care here. You openly risk infection, if you don't trust your mental scrutiny and defense systems.
So, what is really the point of a web page? Is it for personal information? But if you don't know me you shouldn't care, and if you do know me you should know more than the paltry amount I would be willing to make indiscriminately public. And frankly, the great transforming power of the Net is not how many soda machines, fishtanks, dirty pictures or thumbnail biographies it can carry. With the Web even more than with simple mailing lists or Usenet postings one can be a publisher, free of any corporate restrictions, although possibly not of Republican legal restrictions. But ideally one must have something worth publishing.

Given the vast morass of information now available one thing people can do is serve as filters and gatherers, collecting lists of what they consider to be salient links. Of course, many published hotlists are just long miscellaneous lists. The other possibility is of course to write something worth reading. For despite all the multimedia hype many complex and abstract concepts are best expressed through the abstract medium of words, not through visual and aural substitutes. The latter are certainly entertaining and useful for demonstrations, but it is language and its written representation that Homo sapiens is best suited for.

So my Web philosophy follows fairly clearly from this. I can collect important links, but I should be careful to group them so as to enhance perceptability. I've been doing this all along, actually, with my philosophical, political, and literary pages. But even better, I should write, and say things. And I do think highly enough of myself to think I can say interesting things well, if I scrape my act together. So that's what this should be.

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