The Internet is an ocean

Information = Water.. think about it.

OK so it’s NOT an information Superhighway, lets just start accepting that. A friend, Nick Szuberla (sp?), gave me an article years ago pointing out that in reality it’s more like the Information Railroad, in that its funded by Big corporations, and individuals can ‘ride’ with them if they allow them, etc. etc. which I suppose might be true to some degree.

But I am looking for an analogy that touches on what the net SHOULD be. The best one I have come up with so far is; The Information Ocean

The Information Ocean

Anyone can dive in, regardless of income and resources. Swimming is fun but of course its nicer in a canoe, and a motor boat is even better..and its REALLY nice on a big fat super fast cruise ship. I like the water=information analogy and the ocean analogy seemed neat.. with rivers of information flowing down to the common “community” sea. Also, while many corporations USE the oceans, lakes, and rivers on this planet, none of them OWN them or the water that flows in them.. sure they can dam it up in the places they own but it keeps flowing. It really fits with the whole way the internet works, if there is censorship somewhere, it must be an error, flow around it. Also with all the spam and junk on the net these days its very similar to the polluted rivers, lakes and harbors. What we need is a Clearwater ship to bring attention to this so we can start cleaning up the digital waterways… “Sailing Up! Sailing Down!…”

I also use this analogy when explaining local area networks and various network devices and programs related to networking. Hubs are just big tanks of water with lots of spigots all feeding each other, routers are similar, but each spigot has a dedicated tank, switches insure each spigot gets a dedicated amount of water pressure so your shower isn’t affected when your spouse flushes the toilet. Firewalls are just water filters at the outgoing and incoming pipes of your house, keeping the sediment out of your pipes. Or on a larger scale, Firewalls are big damns, keeping information…er.. water on one side inside and limiting the incoming flow and outgoing flow. I suppose homegrown freeware firewall would be a beaver damn whereas a big commercial super-robust intelligent firewall would be a giant cement monstrosity.

I’ll expand more on this later, who knows, maybe it will become a letter in WIRED some day 🙂