There are two aspects to the Internet that I hear people talking about that always seemed to me to be in contradiction with each other.
On the one hand, the Internet is a place where everything is permanent. “Be careful what you put online,” our elders admonish, “Your grandchildren will be able to see it!”
And on the other hand, the Internet is fickle and ephemeral. Posters like myself are expected to have new content every other day, at least, to remain relevant, to keep from being forgotten in the din.
But there is something at the conjunction of these two aspects, a kind of mutability of the net that is exemplified by Wikipedia, if nothing else, changing daily, hourly, even minute by minute to update the world, so that we are left to ask “Is this an encyclopedia or a newspaper?” When, of course, it is neither.
So how do we use this conjunction? Is there a way to manipulate the net, to play the strands of the web like a spider, to create original content that can change over time.
Is it even ethical to do so?