Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Other Side

The last time I had gone into why I chose the 'Habitable Zones' part of the name for my blog. The connection to astronomy and astrobiology, two topics I am really enthusiastic about. Today, I am going to delve into the other side, 'the Internet.' And maybe try to build some obscure connection between them. There doesn't seem like much other then a cool sounding name.

Obviously this blog is on the internet, and so are all blogs, that is the nature of a blog. They are all mostly run by people. And even those that might be bots had to be set up by someone, and sometimes people run multiple blogs. And outside of blogging you have social networks, news sites, news aggregators, message boards, search engines, personal websites, game websites, picture websites, and the list goes on. On top of that you have video games, e-mail, and instant messengers that use the internet The internet is fully and totally inhabited. It has been built, run, and grown by people. It really is a great social undertaking, and there really isn't that much anti-social about it despite what some critics may say. It has probably risen to the greatest social tool in the history of human civilization.

But it isn't just a social tool, it is a research and development tool, a problem solving tool, an information tool. Despite its social qualities, the internet is still used to research large populations of people, such as what Google does. There aren't really very many free things on the internet*, usually when individuals get something for free, its not because they are the target consumer, it is because they are the product. To Google and Facebook, and probably even Blogger, I as an individual am a product, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The result is that we have created an interesting ecosystem on the internet. It is full of big players, individuals, and the curiosities we create. This includes all the viruses, worms, and trojans that all act on their own. The hackers, crackers, and leakers with their individual agendas. And you. All part of this infosphere, a growing augmentation to the limits of our own Earth, a repository of information. A sign of our intelligence and a culmination of life inhabiting our planet. It is something that, barring utter catastrophe, will grow with human evolution. I am willing to say that any other life out there would have an infosphere just like we do.

And that's where I'm leaving off for tonight, there leaves much to be said, but it will all come in the future. Next time I am considering a few things. Maybe gadgets, maybe astronomy, who knows. I am pretty excited for Saturday night though. I am going out with the Harford County Astronomical Society (HCAS) for their monthly open house and then after that we are going to observe Saturn and its current mega storm. We will attempt photos and maybe some video, if the weather holds out for us.

*There are many amazing open source projects on the internet, and probably the best free product is Linux.


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