The archetypes of Internet
[Here you find some thoughts about the psychological impact of Internet.
Being a physicist I would like to point out one thing here: what follows are mostly good stories not good science. You can find here what I think about archetypes as a scientist. There is nothing wrong in a "good story" : what is wrong is if you tell a "good story" and say that it is a proven scientific truth]|
The Healing Power of Stories argues about the importance of good stories to build a community. Every community has its stories that bind all members together. In the past the storyteller was an important member of each village. From this point of view Internet is very important. It is the ultimate community :the community of communities. As such it is the ultimate Storyteller , the Keeper of All Stories. I hope that in the future there will be no more lost stories, wiped out by wars or other catastrophes:but all the stories of every human community,also the smallest ,will be kept in this wonderful store.
From another point of view, Internet is itself a new community and as such is building new stories. Bad stories mostly reported by newspapers, and good stories that all Netizens know. One of these good stories is the kindness for newbies. In my first steps in Internet I sent a question to a newsgroup. It was the usual stupid question of a stupid newbie. None in the newsgroup answered, but someone, a complete stranger, sent to me a mail with a detailed answer that explained everything to me. I didn't thank him, but when I read one of these stupid questions, I remember this mail and I will send too a mail to the newbie explaining everything. What are your Internet stories?
These myths are necessary to help ourselves to adapt to this brave new world.
Mark Stefik author of Internet Dreams: Archetypes, Myths and Metaphors (The MIT Press, 1996), sees at least four archetypes in the Internet. For him The Digital Library metaphor points to "Keeper of Knowledge;" Electronic Mail, to "Communicator" ; Electronic Marketplace, to "Trader;" and finally, Digital Worlds, to "Adventurer." He is interested in metaphors because they express how we think about things and they point to unconscious archetypes.The metaphors we use to describe an invention seem to be guiding our imaginations and influencing what we think that invention can become. The fact that this metaphor arises spontaneously suggests that we still don't understand completely the potential of the invention.
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A new kind of watch by Swatch will allow the inhabitants of cyberspace to synchronize their life at the beat of a unique time.