Hello fellow Internet dwellers – Giordano here.
Yesterday Hugo and I dropped our latest episode of Juice Rap News – all about the medium that permits us to connect: The INTERNET (feat. Dan Bull).
Judging by the comments on the video, many of you feel the same way as we do about the Internet. Which is really awesome because, as you probably know by now, we love it when people get as excited and inspired as we do about some of the topics we cover – particularly when they are as important as this one.
I think this, together with RN30 (The New World Order), might be one of the most important episodes in the whole series. And since there is evidently a lot of interest in this topic, I thought it might be a good idea to scribble one of my sporadic blog posts and share some of the thoughts and ideas that inspired it.
I’ve been wanting us to make this Rap News episode for a long time: a manifesto of sorts about the Internet which calls on us to take a simple yet vital step: to raise our consciousness of the Internet. That is, not simply to “use” it, but to also be conscious of it’s state – and most importantly, of it’s fate.
Keeping in mind that the Internet’s fate and ours are intrinsically connected (we already live much of our lives online, and will even more so in the future), this heightened consciousness is urgently required right now, as we’ve recently entered a historical phase in which powerful forces are vying to shape the future of the Internet in ways that are not always in the public interest.
I’m not saying we need to march in the streets (yet). Simply being more conscious of the Internet’s state, is a powerful act. As Julian Assange pointed out in a recent article, perceiving the Internet as a field of struggle between competing forces and interests, is an essential first step towards influencing it’s destiny.
The ultimate goal, however, might not be so much to choose which one of the interest groups to align ourselves with, but rather to understand that the best outcome is an Internet in which ALL key competing interests and agenda are represented in a balanced way: from civil liberties to national security; from big-business Zuckerberg entreneurship to mindless cat-memes – in such a way that they keep each other in check.
This way, we can benefit from the good that each of these groups provides – security, liberty, privacy, wealth, lulz – without letting any one of them dominate.
Well, that’s the rational side of the episode. But a manifesto also has to be bold and grand, and so I couldn’t resist going metaphysical, because I feel the Internet embodies something quite divine – an appropriate adjective given that all divine things are ultimately the product of human imagination. And so, let us for a moment imagine the Internet as a human being: What kind of person would it be? Not your average human, to be sure: still in its adolescence, s/he has already Revolutionized centuries of centralised control over the flow of information; unleashed a Revelation of knowledge on a scale of biblical proportions; marked an Evolution in human consciousness – and potentially an Apocalypse in terms of its functionality as a tool of tyranny (eg censorship, mass surveillance etc).
If all this were the work of a real human, we would probably call them the “Messiah”. (The Netsiah?).
The Internet is of course not God’s work – it’s ours. And yet it is undeniably an agent of massive social change, akin to that which human mystical traditions have for millennia associated with the work of a messianic figure. And so, I wonder: could this be what the Internet is, the manifestation of our age-old coolective messianic will, wrought into reality over the course of millennia and billions of lives, dreams, prayers and battles? ‘A soaring thought I admit!’
Anyways, those are some of the thoughts and ideas which led to RN35: The INTERNET. It’s a really special episode for us. Both Hugo and I value the medium of the Internet, it has been a formative part of our respective educations, and so it is fitting that we should dedicate an episode entirely to helping to raise consciousness about its state and destiny. Judging by the comments on the video, we’re not the only ones to feel that way about the Internet.
It’s also a special episode because we finally managed to feature a cameo with the brilliant Dan Bull! We first heard from Dan back in 2010, around the time we were making RN6 (Cablegate). We’ve wanted to collaborate with him ever since, but it took 4 years to make it happen. It’s an honour to have collaborated with him finally. And we like to think that this collaboration happened just at the time it should have. We could think of no better person to personify the Internet.
Huge props and respect to Hugo Farrant for once again lending his incredible art to helping me convey these ideas in a form that resonates so strongly with so many people out there (a read through the comments on the video can testify to this). I don’t know of anyone else who can take such relatively complex concepts and convey them through rhyme, delivering them in such a powerful and compelling way; in case anyone is still unaware of this, Hugo does all the voices you hear (except of course Dan Bull!). And seriously massive respect to the other amazing artist on this episode – Adrian Sergovich, who composed all the stirring orchestra; arrangements which accompany the beats. Again, if the ideas and concepts of this episode touch you in a powerful way it is in great part thanks to Adrian’s music.
Well folks… That’s all for now. This is going to be our last Juice Rap News report for 2015, and for some time to come, so we wanted to make it a big one. I really hope you enjoy it and that it resonates with you too. Here’s the link to the video again – thanks for reading/watching and sharing.