Confession of a Pixel Mechanic
I know that the web is the greatest intellectual
achievement in the history of the human race. This knowledge goes beyond my rational
brain, into that area of human experience called profound faith. I am not a religious
person. I am a semi-rational individual who doesn't take much on faith. I have some
I spent 25 years of my life as a drunk and a dope
fiend. I have been clean and sober for a bit over 13 years now. It took two voluntary
tries and shutting down 4 square blocks of a major metropolitan downtown area around
lunchtime in the middle of the week, a closed door commitment hearing, an involuntary
stay at a psychiatric mental hospital, a 1800 mile move and a marriage to get me
pointed in the right direction.
The final answer to the abuse lunacy came from a fellow
inmate who said, "Listen, out of everything you can imagine yourself doing, out of every
possibility there is in the world, these are the only two things you can not do." It
still took me two years to understand what he actually said and begin to live.
I am a bit of an absolutist. I have to be. I still have
problems. The clink of ice in an old fashioned glass, the sensual sound of whisky gently
splashing over the ice, the smokey gold color of fine scotch and the resulting descent
into insanity I remember far too well.
What is this web thing?
"I spend a lot of time on the web. It's my day job, and
I'm happy to do it. Besides building websites, I think about the web and where it's
going." I said that. It is on my
opinion page. Am I still happy about it? I don't know.
I watch and read and write about the web. I watched
with horror the rise of the so called commercial web and it's recent collapse. Yes I
laughed when these dot.coms crashed and burned. Making money the old fashioned way by
working for it works much better than hoping that the kindness of clueless strangers
with more money than sense will dig some company built on vaporware out of the dirt.
Don't worry, it's still about the money. The rise of
litigation surrounding the current laws regarding copyright, trademarks and our very
own domain hijacking, will insure that the lawyers will continue to feed their families.
The marketeers are waiting in the wings for the next big thing to build brand identity,
build desire, and make you ashamed that you do not use their products. The web is the
perfect vehicle to separate you from your money, in your home, in your chair, on your
I read with anguish the stories of folks who bought
into a dream and then were sold out. That I can share your pain at all, is a pretty
amazing thing. But this is not about you, this is about us.
We are psychic vampires
We are birds of a feather, you and I. I enter your
sites, devour your pixels, view your source and steal away. If you look closely you
can see my tracks in your log files; if you care. That is a risk you take when you
expose your soft underbelly to my trackball. Oh no, I am not alone here, your are a
vampire too. You chose to come here. My pixels on your screen are creating chemical
reactions in your brain as you read this. You are not immune to my siren song as long
as you are connected.
We are not passive participants in this space. Our
new shiny toy with it's colors, tags and places for our lunatic ravings, (at least in
my case) is giving us a soapbox of unprecedented proportion to extol our virtues,
expose our faults and share what we have learned in the quiet singular universe of
But is this a good thing?
I am concerned about the future. The web allows us to
become different. The ease with which we can become something else is an awesome and
frightening thing. We are merrily dividing the world into the connected, and those that
are not. We hang out with folks who think alike, feel the way we do, and like us. This
is not a bad thing, we did it before the web and if the web crashes and burns tomorrow,
we will still do it. We are creating our own little pixel clubs that exclude by platform,
browser, and connection speed. That is a bad thing.
I see the dangers of fragmentation, litigation, and the
complete rewriting of laws to deal with the ideas and abilities of the citizens of
cyberspace. I see the population of the web increasing until it is as common as the
telephone, yet far richer. I see the web bringing greater understanding, knowledge and
goodwill for everyone.
I am a self-taught, self-employed pixel mechanic. I
build websites for a living. I work the web. I get up in the morning and surf, read
email, write email, visit my morning sites to find out what is happening. I am on the
web because I can. Today I am a better person than I was yesterday. What I know about
the web now, I learned from you All of You.
I see my Life. Yeah, I'm still happy about it.
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