Skip to content

The Internet is Empty

The wide open nothingness of HTTP

Think about the Internet. Big, right? Or is it? Inside my head, the internet is mostly void. Empty lands yet to be claimed, websites yet to exist, raw thoughts not yet sculpted into words. Most of the Internet has yet to be born.

But here's where we get fooled. We users, humans or machines, can only poke at spots that already shine bright. It's like walking through a busy city with blinders on, seeing just a fraction of its true form. With each click, we leap from star to star, never pausing to appreciate the vast darkness in between, the URLs not listed, the words not said.

The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

The Internet isn't something you can hold or touch. It has no physical form. Your journey through its unseen shape demands you give it direction, seeking signs and symbols that point to pre-filled spaces, pre-filled experiences, signs of life. You can not travel through the internet as a lone comet, and hope to see some galaxies or supernovae along your way.

This makes the Internet a popularity game. The voices you think matter, with their huge followings, are just shouted out louder and more often. They have energy and mass from those who point at them and proclaim for all of their friends to hear "they have energy and mass". It's an echo of "All roads lead to Rome," in cyberspace.

But here's the kicker — unlike in real physical space, the Internet doesn't let you wander. No casual strolls or off-trail adventures. You need a guide: a search engine, a forum, a feed, a hyperlink, a URL, carrying you forcefully by the hand.

The art of curating What Is, pruning away the stale data of What Was, and fabricating What Will Be - in a nutshell, that's your Internet.

The Internet is empty. For now.