A concise blog reporting on articles of importance to the future of human and social development.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Weighing in on Anonymous

Having just watched this video on Youtube,

I feel its about time for me to throw in my $.02 on Anonymous.

I've spent a good many years on Ebaums, hanging out in the online community that would eventually mutate into an activist collective. I'm what Anonymous would call an "Oldfag", someone who was around early enough to remember when Anonymous' websites were full of hatred, racism, bizzare pornography, and disturbing images of gore. I consider my time in that realm to have been a coming-of-age of sorts, it was the sort of community that seperated the men from the boys (with weak stomachs).

But what has happened in the last two or three years to turn this wretched hive of scum and villany into a burgeoning sociopolitical movement? Right-wing talking heads would probably call it "The Pussification of the Internet" if they saw it the way I do. Allow me to explain.

Human nature is one of those things that's hard to code for. When Anonymous first started self-organizing on Ebaumsworld, early members bickered over 'The Rules of the Internets". First and Foremost among these are two rules adapted from Fight Club.

1. Do not talk about *****.
2. Do Not talk about *****.
The way the oldfags intended was for Anonymous to remain small, spreading like like a conspiracy theory to anyone curious enough to track down the source of our memes.

But that's not how people work. Anonymous spread by word of mouth, despite rules 1.&2.

The word spread and , like a hipster with a record deal, Anonymous sold out as soon as it got popular. The original Internet Hate Machine has been co-opted by reality-friendly interests. Namefags (people who are not Anonymous) like Wise Beard Man grabbed the reins of the collective consciousness and pulled, and Anonymous was weak enough to be turned.

The greatest strength that the oldfags wrote into the Anonymous charter turned out to be their greatest flaw. By virtue of anonymnity, anyone can be Anonymous; and thus, anyone can change what it means to be Anonymous.

The Anonymous of today is not the Anonymous I remember. The Anonymous I remember was cruel and heartless. The Anonymous I remember had no concept of mercy, pity, or restraint.

The new Anonymous is different. They're making the world a better place.

Earth is lucky.

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