Can you come up with an answer? Most of us can't. And those who do have
an answer - those in the field - often respond in technical language and
with explanations that are intellectually counterintuitive. Barbara Nichol asks experts in the field a simple question: where is the Internet?
Close your eyes and imagine the internet. What's the first image that appears?
From a neurobiology student: "I can't imagine anything. It's up in the sky."
From a designer and art director: "An expanding void."
From a psychiatrist: "A swirling fog of particles that pulse with light in a seemingly random pattern."
From a contemporary art dealer: "It's just air. No start. No finish."
What these images have in common - descriptions given by people who use the internet every day, is that they look nothing like the internet. But they're common images. In these images the internet is floating somewhere above us. We know it's out there. But we don't see it. We use it. But where is it?
A report on the internet by Bill Cameron on CBC Prime Time News, 1993.
Participants in the show: David Weinberger - Researcher at Harvard's Berkman Center for the internet and
author of Too Big To Know.
Andrew Blum - journalist and author of Tubes.
Vint Cerf -
Vice President of Google
Ron Deibert - Director of Citizen Lab and Canada
Centre at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, author of
Jesse Hirsh - Internet Researcher, broadcaster, public
speaker. President and founder of Metaviews Media Management. John
Levine - Author of Internet for Dummies and president of The Coalition Against Unsolicited Commerical Email. Barry Wellman - Professor of Sociology at The University of Toronto and Director of Netlab. Co-author of Networked: The New Social Operating System.
Special thanks to all who gave their descriptions of the internet in the program: Jane Griffin, Wendy Yiu, Andy Sylvester, Tony Griffin, Martha MacKenzie, Alison Harrison-Smith, Susan Crammond, Marjorie Nichol, Meghan Cole, Madeleine Beange.