CHAPTER 5 – TOGETHERNESS
• During disaster times…like the 9/11…the web drew upon the knowledge of citizens from around the nation and around the world to make us
smarter, and thus to keep out fears as realistic as possible on an unrealistic day
• The web also provided points of access to local communities across the country. Like bridge closings (during 9/11) and stuff like that...things that
the national news wouldn’t have noticed, but the stories and observations came from people with genuine roots.
• The web consists of links among people and hyperlinks among pages. Information passed from one list to another. The national broadcasts gave
us sound and pictures at the speed of light, the web became a first-person news network: it connected us, gave us voice, provided context, and
located expertise that was better able to makes sense of the torn fragments of news that were being broadcasted.
• The web is public. It consists not of a mass but of individuals joined in an enormous number of groups. Unlike broadcasting networks where they
talk to you like a faceless mass.
• The public in real world has a facelessness element because it’s such a huge group.
• The world is shared. At every instant, our understanding and our behaviour are shaped by the fact that there are other people. Even when we’re
alone, we understand our aloneness in relation to the world of others to which we are going to return. So if I say that humans are social, it means
that we live in a shared world. We are here with others and that is the condition for there being a public.
• Without groups, there would be no individual humans. A human being raised in isolation wouldn’t be identifiably human in anything except DNA.
Sociality grants a mute herd of brutes their souls and selves
• Web is a new social, public space. Web has no geography, surface or container of space. The web is a shared place that we choose to build,
extend and inhabit. We form groups there because our interests aren’t unique.
• In the real world, masses become more faceless the farther away they are. On the web, each person is present only insofar as she has presented
herself in an individual expression of her interests: many small faces, each distinct within the multitude. And since being on the web is a voluntary
activity, we are forced to face the excruciating fact that we spend so much real-world energy denying: not only do we live in a shared world, but we
like it that way.
CHAPTER 6 – KNOWLEDGE
• Words such as class, state, or society only have meaning when translated into statements about individual action. It is reductionism.
• Technology that is built to create decisions for us doesn’t do it properly. Because humans calculate, not decide. When we make a tough decision,
often it’s tough because we have too much information and it isn’t all consistent.
• It seems that every time we look at knowledge and see something that isn’t purely fact-based and objective, we feel bloated and go on a stricter
diet. Our decision making facts become narrower.
• Knowing means more than being right.
• Knowledge, said Plato, has to be a true belief that we’re justified in believing.
• We are in the information age. Information is a science that is almost purely mathematical discipline concerned with the most efficient way of
moving a pattern of bits from one place to another. It is of importance to phone companies and other companies but has no direct relevance to the
rest of us who think that information is what you read in a newspaper.
• The web is useful because of the database that let us look up information.
• The web is a written world; the 300 million people on the web are its authors. We get out authority not from degrees and qualifications, but from
what of us appears in our writing: our authenticity. What is the greatest betrayer of a lock of authenticity? A voice without affect, without passion: a
• The knowledge worth listening to – that is worth developing together – comes from bodies. Only bodies are capable of passionate attention and
only embodied creatures can write the truth in a way worth reading.
CHAPTER 7 – Matter • Internet is to move bits and NOT to decide which bits to move, to block, what is done with the bits and whether anyone should have to pay for
receiving particular bits. It’s the internet’s job to allow such capabilities to be added by the people who want them.
• Routers are the beating hearts of the internet. They are in intimate contact with the net’s lifeblood, packets of bits. Every page you download, email
you send, music file downloaded was torn apart at its source, packaged into predictable bundles of bits and reassembled at the other end.
• Bits are the stuff of the web. They are what the web REALLY is, or so it seems. But bits don’t exist...not in the usual sense. Like thoughts and
objects belong to different realms. Thoughts are mental and have no size or weight. How can weightless thoughts affect anything in the world? How
can your mind cause you to lift a hand physically? How can out minds know anything about the physical world?
• The world is made of atoms, but digital devices are made of bits. A bit is a state of being.
• A page without hyperlinks is a dead end on the web. Hyperlinks are not an incidental feature of the web. They are what turn the web from a library
of pages into a web.
• Nothing on the web is independent of us and our meanings and our interests: for this reason, we can’t make the mistake of thinking that what
“really” counts is the stuff that’s apart from us.
• On the web there’s only passion, words, and the presence of others in grand, shifting, ineffably messy relationships.
• The web is like the world we live in and is unlike the world as we think about it when seized by a fit of realism
• The virtual world of the web exposes more clearly the truth of our everyday lives. That is why the web – this disruptive technology – feels so familiar
CHAPTER 8 – HOPE
• The web is a sewer of filth, greed, and duplicity.
• Marshall McLuhan told us that the medium is the message, we’re used to that: we adopt a technology and it alters the way we think just as much as
an explicit philosophical credo or manifesto can. This is because technologies are extensions of our own bodies.
• The message of the web as a medium is this: Ultimately, matter doesn’t matter. If we can be together so successfully in a world that has no atoms,
space, uniform time, management and control, then maybe we’ve been wrong about what matters in the real world in the first place. **I DON’T
UNDERSTAND. But it sounds important, page 174****
• The web is more than an extension of ourselves, it can create new things. You can create a new personality. A person can change on the
web...their ideas can be changed while on the web…*PAGE 175*
• Things that are considered private in real life, like diaries, are made public like weblogs
• The web taught us that, to find appreciative readers, an author doesn’t have to be one of the handfuls of writers who can fit through the eye of a
publishing house. Someone wants to hear what we have to say and likes the way we say it.
• The web is different enough from the real world that the mistakes we’ve made about the real world don’t distract us there. Thus, our experience of
the web is closer to the truth of our lived experience than are our ideas about our lived experience
• Web time consists of a continuous string of particularized moments
• Web knowledge comes in the form of people speaking in their own voices, so we’re not as tempted to seek voiceless, passionless authorities.
• The web shows us more purely the truths of our human experience, truths that have been obscured by our thinking about human experience.
• The web is a return to the values that have been with us from the beginning. A return to our basic self