If your life on the web is running too s l o w, if your browsing and grazing at this site or that is just b o g g i n g d o w n, what do you do?
Like any good cybernaut, you look for the “techno-fix.”
There are, of course, many fixes to find. New connections, new computers, new hard drives, new browsers, new plugins, and more. But the first thing everyone should do is to take the cure common to all cyberspace slowdowns. You click on your browser menus and tell it to “Clear History.”
“Clear History” works wonders for your cyberlife. As you move within the web, your History grows, and the more History you hold the slower your web brain, your browser, thinks and acts. Thinking slowly and acting slowly may be wise in life, but it takes the zip out of your online drive.
When you “Clear History” your browser forgets all the places it has been, all the things that it has seen, all of what it has learned. All that bitsludge is wiped away and your browser’s internal brain is made as smooth as a baby’s bottom, as blank as a goldfish’s brain. Things run faster, you get loaded more quickly and will probably stay loaded longer. You flash but you don’t crash. Why would you? You’ve “cleared your history.”
I probably didn’t have to tell you to “Clear History.” You knew it. Pretty much everyone knows it. But this better browsing tip seems, like many other dubious cyberspace insights, to have oozed out into the real world, into the world dimensional.
And when 2D goes 3D there’s always a problem.
Applying cyberspace notions to the world at large, like believing the GoogleMaps is the territory, is usually a mistake, but people, being people, are always eager to make new mistakes. After all, “cyberspace” explains so much, doesn’t it? Cyberspace has become the new paradigm and controlling metaphor of our age, supplanting the use of the computer as the controlling metaphor back in the last quarter of the 20th century, much as the idea of the “clockwork universe” caught on at the dawn of the Enlightenment as the Age of Reason was driven forward on the escapement of the highest tech of that time, the clock.
As humans, we prefer that our “things” define us. It is always easier to explain ourselves through things than to explain ourselves outright. If mistakes are made, well, “Things didn’t work out.”
Of course, during these intellectually eviscerated times we can look back on the clockwork universe of the Enlightenment as a time when giants walked Europe’s Cathedrals of Thought; Newton, Descartes, Voltaire, Montaigne, Kant, Hume, Jefferson…. the list is, as you know, still dominant though it be mainly male, all dead and very white. They all rose up in the age of clocks but they, in a real and metaphorical sense, wound the clocks. They “had” time and they would never “Clear History.”
As much as these founders of our world valued time, they valued History more. Out of that time and that History, the Enlightenment swept across the world. When that wave receded it left many gifts on these shores, not the least of which was “The Declaration of Independence” and “The Constitution of the United States.”
The Declaration and The Constitution: These two artifacts of history were the quintessence of the most revolutionary ideas to arise in the mind of man since …. not fire or the wheel, but previous… previous…. long before… since standing up on the hind legs.
Standing up happened before we began to become what we are now.
Standing up happened before the ancestors of who we are were what they were.
Standing up was, in that time long before the dream time, the most revolutionary idea life had had since the eye.
Standing up on the savannas of Africa gave you something the other animals didn’t have. On the flat plains it made you the high ground.
Standing up you could reach the low-hanging fruit and see down where the prey hid among the high grass. Standing up let you see other animals that saw you as prey. Standing up above the grasses let you see out across the plains of that savannah.
Standing up gave you the long view.