The blue planet

This is what the search portals provided; they promised to hold our hands as we ventured into this unregulated ocean of content.*
(Youngme Moon)

Live the questions now.**
(Rainer Maria Rilke)

The year is 1995 and Youngme Moon is discovering the internet.

In milliseconds we can be hyperlinked to thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of pages of content.  These blue hyperlinks promise us the world and more: a blue planet.

Yet the world has always been blue.

Perhaps more slowly, but we have always been able to connect with people, ideas, artefacts and the natural world.  What has happened, though, is that the borders have become more permeable or have disappeared completely.  Once information and knowledge was power.

You might have known something that I needed but because you did not want to give that power away, you didn’t tell me.  Now I can find out what I need online.  In fact I can find out way more than I need or want to know.

Now I have a different problem.  Now it’s my need to navigate or curate all the information: to find my way through and know how to use what I discover.  Relationships are even more important now:

‘How we treat others is the only proof of truth we have.^

We are seeing the development of new kinds of navigators and guides.  These people help us to live in the question, to remain open for longer, discovering what we need, identifying what resonates with us, developing our awareness, gathering and extending skills.

Moon describes Google as a “reverse brand.”  Google came along with a largely white home page and changed the information market:

‘Whereas Yahoo! offered an ocean, Google offered a blank slate.’*

Instead of look at all this information we have for you it’s asking where do you want to go? This idea of reverse branding makes me imagine the reverse guide:

‘They take away what we expect, but then give us what we don’t.  They say no where others say yes but they also say yes where others say no. […] They eliminate but they also elevate.’*

These blue guides or navigators first of all listen – they are our white page.  They live within the questions of who we are and what is our contribution.  They help us to see that who we are and what we have already provide the initial hyperlinks to others, to our world and to ourselves

(*Different by Youngme Moon.)
(**Rainer Maria Rilke, quoted in the Northumbria Community‘s Morning Prayer.)
(^From Frank Schaeffer’s Why I Am An Atheist Who Believes in God.)

Other blue reading:
 Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.
 Create Dangerously by Albert Camus.
 Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr.
 Flaneuse by Lauren Elkin.
 Let's get equal (blog) by gapingvoid.
 Why even bother to think about strategic? (Blog) by Seth Godin.
 Nietzsche on Truth, Lies, the Power and Peril of Metaphor (blog) by Brain Pickings.)
 Drawn Together Through Visual Practice by Aftab Erfan.


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