In the 1990s the very small web community, compared to today's web, had a lot of self-important ideas about the future of the medium. We were living in the future and prepared for it, or so we thought. In one way we believed that this would someday be the most important medium, or it already was, but on the other hand, not really. This was the kind of stuff you read about in science fiction, it didn't happen in real life. Well now it's happening. And it's freaky, and who knows where it leads.
None of us are prepared for the world we find ourselves in. Not even the net natives.
We don't know what comes after attacks on our embassies, all over the world now, but it's serious and unprecedented and couldn't happen without the net. Communication used to be controlled by governments. It would take days or weeks for stories of a war-like event in one part of the world to reach another part. I know this because it wasn't much better in the United States. When I was in college in New Orleans, I'd go downtown every Tuesday to get a copy of the Sunday NY Times. That, and the evening news, was my access to world wide news. It wasn't that long ago.
Now Google has told the US government that it won't take down the video that's theoretically causing all the trouble. That's weird but it's right. Google is a multi-national company. Sure its founders are American. But it can't be anymore beholden to the United States than to any other country. If they did, they would disappear pretty quickly because someone has a good reason for every piece of content to be removed. Whether they obey an order from the US is another matter.
Remember, this is all coming after WikiLeaks. And think of where Assange is now. It's only the respect the British govt has for the sovereignty of embassies that keeps him out of jail. And it's exactly that sovereignty that's under attack elsewhere.
And meanwhile in Kansas some people aren't embarrassed to say the President's name should be taken off the ballot because he's a black man, and they're white and they can't handle it. I know they'll say it's not that, but they're lying.
All this is happening at the same time.