Chapter 04-01 


A Brief History of the Internet 

Web site by Gifcom.

Internet As Chandelier
[The Infamous Chandelier Diatribe of 1990]

 

[chandel2/wp]


-------------------ORIGINAL MESSAGE--------------------------
Hart undoubtedly saw academia as a series of dark brown dream
shapes, disorganized, nightmarish, each with its set of rules
for nearly everything:  style of writing, footnoting, limited
subject matter, and each with little reference to each other.
 
-------------------------REPLY----------------------------------
What he wanted to see was knowledge in the form of a chandelier,
with each subject area powered by the full intensity of the flow
of information, and each sending sparks of light to other areas,
which would then incorporate and reflect them to others, a never
ending flexion and reflection, an illumination of the mind, soul
and heart of Wo/Mankind as could not be rivalled by a diamond of
the brightest and purest clarity.
 
Instead, he saw petty feudal tyrants, living in dark poorly lit,
poorly heated, well defended castles:  living on a limited diet,
a diet of old food, stored away for long periods of time, salted
or pickled or rotted or fermented.  Light from the outside isn't
allowed in, for with it could come the spears and arrows of life
and the purpose of the castle was to keep the noble life in, and
all other forms of life out.  Thus the nobility would continue a
program of inbreeding which would inevitably be outclassed by an
entirely random reflexion of the world's gene pool.
 
A chandelier sends light in every direction, light of all colors
and intensities.  No matter where you stand, there are sparkles,
some of which are aimed at you, and you alone, some of which are
also seen by others:  yet, there is no spot of darkness, neither
are there spots of overwhelming intensity, as one might expect a
sparkling source of lights to give off.  Instead, the area is an
evenly lit paradise, with direct and indirect light for all, and
at least a few sparkles for everyone, some of which arrive, pass
and stand still as we watch.
 
But the system is designed to eliminate sparkles, reflections or
any but the most general lighting.  Scholars are encouraged to a
style and location of writing which guarantee that 99 and 44 one
hundredths of the people who read their work will be colleagues,
already a part of that inbred nobility of their fields.
 
We are already aware that most of our great innovations are made
from leaps from field to field, that the great thinkers apply an
item here in this field which was gleaned from that field:  thus
are created the leaps which create new fields which widen fields
of human endeavor in general.
 
Yet, our petty nobles, cased away in their casements, encased in
their tradition, always reject the founding of these new fields,
fearing their own fields can only be dimmed by comparison.  This
is true, but only by their own self-design.  If their field were
open to light from the outside, then the new field would be part
of their field, but by walling up the space around themselves, a
once new and shining group of enterprising revolutionaries could
only condemn themselves to awaiting the ravages of time, tarnish
and ignorance as they become ignorant of the outside world while
the outside world becomes ignorant of them.
 
So, I plead with you, for your sake, my sake, for everyone's, to
open windows in your mind, in your field, in your writing and in
your thinking; to let illumination both in and out, to come from
underneath and from behind the bastions of your defenses, and to
embrace the light and the air, to see and to breathe, to be seen
and to be breathed by the rest of Wo/Mankind.
 
Let your light reflect and be reflected by the other jewels in a
crown of achievement more radiant than anything we have ever had
the chance to see or to be before.  Join the world!

A Book by Michael Hart