" In the days when it was a wealthy privilege to read and write, the poor went out to self educate so that they could read, and experience the world. They spent sparse funds on books to help them to see the worlds of imagination. They used the written word to communicate with others and to document events. They examined their imaginations and profited from it.
Not even a century ago the internet came along and with it a generation who believed it a right to demand all content for nothing. Authors and writers still wrote for the entertainment of others and still they published their books. More and more people began to write books, many of which were very bad indeed. No one wanted their books because those writers had not educated themselves, or been educated enough to understand that even language has rules. Instead, writers and authors who relied upon their use of the written word found that those words were stolen, read, and passed on without one cent of remuneration. Those people were no longer looked up to and respected as educated people whose every day work was to spin thrilling, wild, and imaginative tales.
Before the year 2100 no one wrote books to feed themselves and their children anymore. No one wrote scripts for movies. No one philosophized or thought widely upon the world. Everything was free. Everything was on the internet and over time great works were no longer created. All that was left was a miasma of unoriginal thought, tweeted, twittered, and socially spread through the airwaves.
Civilizations decayed, everything became free because no person had money to purchase anything. The ultimate truth was that the human race atrophied. Instead of releasing people from slavery and corporate greed the specie enslaved itself. Enslaved to never ending, ever burgeoning, greed.
And then came the sunbursts. Within a mere 8 minutes of world history all electronic communication died.
The riots began 8 minutes later, so demanding had the species become that they no longer even understood the words patience, tolerance, or stoicism. "What do we want?" The shout went up. And came the reply "The Internet!" "When do we want it?" "NOW!"
Though there was no need to fight for bread and water, still they looted, no one wondering why, since everything had always been free. Governments, the providers of everything to all people fell and there were no replacements, since communication had completely stalled except for the loudest voice in the quietest street. The robot factories that made the food and shoes were the only workers. Robots repaired their own, and any man, woman or child caught making goods by hand, and growing food were confined to camps in which they could do no more harm. Now the robots too were destroyed in a multitudinous fit of pique. Millions died in that last Great War. A war with no sides, no Generals, no leaders.
And then one day in a quiet part of the world, where internet had never been, where the tiny Kingdom of Butan existed, high in the mountains, sealed away from a world that not very long ago had laughed at their antiquity, one small child said to another. "If I make you a picture will you give me some food?"
And so it began......
Technology can save us, but abuse of technology can destroy us just as easily.
Today, when you turn on your computer you will see the familiar FBI badge. It is the badge of PROTECTION. No matter where you live, in the USA, Britain, Europe,... the entire western world, you now have secure access to YOUR interweb through a single portal. From today you will no longer need to fear that your identity will be stolen, that your children will be bullied, that terror can be thrust into your living rooms in the guise of seemingly innocuous web pages. Welcome citizens, fellow Americans and free people of the world, to THE PORTAL. ..."
I think that those for, and those against The Portal are equally valid. I don't know who is good, who is bad, OR if it is as black and white as that. I believe (personally) that in the relatively near future THE PORTAL will come into being. This story is intended to be an exploration of the good and bad, and questioning WHAT IS FREEDOM? I want writers! I will post the first chapter on my blog in the next few days. Anyone wanting to write a chapter PLEASE contact me.
- Withernsea High1959
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