Bryan Lindenberger

Résumé, portfolio, published articles and more at

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Are All Bytes Still Equal?

I remember when MSNBC was a really cool thing.
Don't know what that makes me, but it sure doesn't make me young.
You gotta strap yourself into your WayBackMachine for this one. MSNBC wasn't a platform for pissy socialists fixated on race. It was the marriage of Internet and television. NBC. Microsoft. Ergo, MSNBC How fucking cool is that?!
It was. For us nerds anyway, trust me. If Don Imus wasn't on, it was usually some California hippy with long, curly hair discussing the Webs but looking more like he'd rather be high surfing. Some really important principles stuck with me from that time that can be summed up in one powerful sentence. It's amazing. If you care about anything at all, prepare to have your mind blown.
"All. Bytes. Are Equal."
What this meant at the time was that it didn't matter if you were Black, White, Asian, European, the recently invented "Hispanic," male, female, both, neither, none of that. On the Webs ... all bytes are equal.
Weird ideas you couldn't say out loud at your local hairdresser or coffee shop were suddenly out there - the stuff ABC/Disney won't touch - to live and die by their own merit, no matter who or what said them.
This was freaking cool, and everyone from Aphex Twin to David Bowie provided the soundtrack for it.
What happened?
Well ... all bytes are equal happened. If you happened to be a hack writer selling hack writings, that 5 hundred dollar article turned into "for exposure" on the Internet. What's cool about Web 1.0 from the 90s is that completely erased the overhead of publishing and distribution - the highest costs whether you are Stephen-Fucking-King or a dude in his mother's basement writing a letter to the editor.
Less investment in print and distribution equalizes, including quality. We're going to go - and go batshit, balls out crazy - fast into the very human reality that "the less something costs, the less it is valued."
For another thing, it turns out that once we make the transition into web 2.0 - social media stuff - who and what you are matters more than ever. Gender. Race. Income. Popularity. Persona. Persona means popularity. The cool kids trend, not those with a different perspective. I'm in awe of how a handful from the Kardashians to Trump could work that shit. They are amazing.
But "all bytes are equal" -?
That reality - and it's enough of a reality that I think it is still there, waiting for some technology or approach to congeal ... it never really happened. Close, but no cigar.
>>Mars happy nation, sit on my karma
Dame meditation, take me away.

No comments:

Post a Comment