Friday, September 15, 2017

digital vs the internet

It's common to hear 'digital' conflated with 'the internet', when the two are obviously interconnected but not the same thing.

'Digital' is not a thing, it’s an adjective. The internet is not strictly a thing either but is certainly more thing-like. Or at least a 'place', of sorts.

If the internet is a place, digital is it's underlying structure.

We came across this splendid analogy from the film-maker Adam Curtis which seems to help with the distinction.

“[The internet] will become a bit like a John Carpenter movie. You go there, amidst the ruins, and it’s weird, and you can be nasty — just have fun and be bad, like a child. From about ’96 to about 2005 people built these lovely websites, they put up masses and masses of fantastic information. They’ve left them sitting there, but it’s like a city that everyone’s gone from. And what’s come in instead is a weird world where you don’t know what’s real — just people shouting at each other. It’s good fun, but it’s not real.”

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