Absolute Internet: why it is no longer possible to close it

Absolute Internet: why it is no longer possible to close it
Opinion

23 May, 12:36
Алина Витухновская
Писатель
Once again, Russia called to turn off the Internet. But the fact is that the Internet as a global network today is much more real than today's Russia itself. Therefore, it is still an open question who will turn off whom.

Alina Vitukhnovskaya, writer

The predecessor of the Internet appeared as a closed information environment, first born as a limited network of computing and data exchange of the US defense departments, which rapidly outgrew its original role and began to spread through the global body of the world, providing humanity with hitherto unheard of prospects for interaction.

The explosive growth of the Internet in Russia took place at the end of the 90s - the beginning of the 2000s, when it began to develop rapidly and penetrate into the most remote corners of both the country and the minds of citizens almost unhindered and uncontrolled by the state.

But it was not there. Plans to conquer the "network sea" with the help of ubiquitous censorship and "anti-extremist" legislation were put into practice without delay. Providers were obliged to store specific information about network users for several years within the framework of the system of operational-search measures (SORM-2), and network informers began to look for sedition and promote high-profile criminal cases aimed at intimidating everyone else, who are still mostly careless users of Russian social networks.

But even in the well-fed 2000s, the clouds of the North Korean version of the development of events began to gather over the Internet. The network has been repeatedly threatened to be turned off or censored to the state of “Cheburnet”, but each time the authorities stopped, because they understood that a unilateral exit from the global context in the form of a complete or even partial isolation of the Russian network segment would certainly affect the economy, and therefore tax collections . But the more the country turned into a resource base, the less relevant the issue of “thin network matters” became. Like, grandfathers lived without the Internet and nothing, and you will somehow make it.

And once again in Russia they decided to turn off the Internet. But the fact is that the Internet as a global network today is much more real than today's Russia. Therefore, it is still an open question who will turn off whom. The Internet itself is decentralized and multifaceted, it is not going to drive Russia somewhere. The Internet will not leave Russia. The question of what it will be depends on us, content generators. The Internet cannot be regulated by administrative command methods, it is subject only to the will of those who create, organize and maintain its nodes.

Among other things, the Internet performs the most important social function of a "heat absorber", a public "lightning rod". For it is easier to let people throw out everything that has boiled up in the form of letters and pictures on the screens of computers, tablets and smartphones than to deal with a huge number of dissatisfied people on the street. Fans of exclusively one-way information communication with society through TV, this practically does not concern. Although, it is worth recognizing that, in many respects, the modern Internet has turned into a kind of “network viewer”, although with the ability to comment on events that have already occurred, i.e. almost always be one step behind reality.

In the West, on the contrary, the Internet has become the locomotive of technological progress, shaping reality and setting its trends. And this difference between the two types of “Internets” has become more than obvious right now, in the era rightly called post-information, when the degree of information availability was inversely proportional to its reliability. But this is a completely different question. In the case of Russian reality, when it has mostly turned into a fake, the presence of the “sovereign” Russian Internet, muted from the global network, unfortunately, can only consolidate this trend, varnish it like a nightmarish matryoshka doll of a multi-layered and equally hopeless existence. Therefore, today all thinking people need communication with the outside world like air, that is, like the Internet as a global information system, which it should be.

The well-known coach Yuri Muradyan spoke about this:

“When proposals were made to ban the Internet, I remembered the times when studied in the first years of the university, few people still used the Internet as they do now, and smartphones were not a mandatory attribute. Library, books are the best friends of the student. As far as literature is concerned, I had ritual: when he came to St. Petersburg, went to the Singer's house in a bookstore and purchased a book, it was both fiction and popular science, and books on psychology, which he studied I can say from a young age and the most valuable thing, as it seemed to me at that time, was valuable - encyclopedias, by the way, I didn’t read them at all, I only looked at pictures. With them, I felt like the king of know-it-alls.

Now I work with many of my clients via skype, zoom, telegram, watsap. This is a great time saver. They don’t have to come to my office, spending a lot of time on the road, I don’t need stay in one place in any room and conduct a reception while sitting in an armchair at the table. Right now I am in the forests of the Himalayas, and right from here I am broadcasting with mountains in the background. My work, thanks to the Internet, has become a meditation, pleasure.

I perfectly understand the concerns of those who say that there is a lot of false and negative information on the Internet that harms us. Lying is generally a timeless concept. There was a lot of it in those touching times when I rushed around Murmansk with my books. We "ate" what the print media and television gave us. Now we choose the sources ourselves, we can analyze the information and draw conclusions for ourselves.

Talking about the dangers of the Internet is like talking about the dangers of fitness, if you didn’t do the exercises correctly and damaged your muscles, ligaments or joints, it’s your fault, not fitness’s fault, because the sport itself is useful. The same with the Internet, it is impossible to overestimate its benefits in our lives, from quick access to information, ending with games in our free time. Banning the Internet is certainly a slide into the Middle Ages, although, as I said, those times make me feel touching”.

The Internet is an integral part of modern, progressive reality. Any attempts to roughly regulate the non-linear environment by linear methods will only lead to the fact that the deliberately drowned out space will acquire a second wind, a special relevance, will become the very atmosphere that everyone who shares the values of personal freedom and the liberal world will strive for.

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