The most terrible thing that the Internet does is that it brings into full display the shadow, the dark and nasty projections that were once only ever seen in our darkest moments. The most wonderful thing about the Internet is that… it brings into full display the shadow, the darkness within us all. For as Jung once noted, long before Facebook and Twitter emerged from e-space, we become enlightened not by imaging figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. Perhaps then, it is better to think of the Internet not a conspiracy designed to set us against one another, but the universe’s way of getting us to notice how we set ourselves against one another. How dark we can become.
Amidst all this we are foundering upon the collapse of sensemaking, the digitization and politicization of everything, systematically retarding our ability to understand the world and our relationship with it. We have lost touch with our inner knowing, set adrift upon a vast ocean of competing narratives and agendas. Which captains are we to believe, which shores are we to seek, and which winds are we to reset sail upon? These are questions that lie at the heart of this book.
I like to call this virtual space MemeWorld, because it is a reality whose fabric is comprised not so much of the real, but of threads of memes weaved into a great net. And that is increasingly what we see of the world, and how we see it.
Or rather, that is how the world is made for us.
MemeWorld is becoming increasingly alien, relative to how we once experienced the world with our critical faculties and bodily, intuitive senses. Yet we can now identify 14 of its general operational features.
The volume features ten written pieces on perhaps the most crucial “social” problem of our time: the internet and the crisis in meaning and sense-making. Each of the writers examines a slightly different aspect of the problem.