On The Internets Using colonial models of Atlantic trade winds and trade routes, these meta-maps seeks to trace the modern neocolonial dynamics of the internets.
In 2004 former US President George W. Bush was widely lampooned for his repeated use of the terminology 'The Internets'. 15 years later it seems his ignorance (of the technical nature of the Internet as a single network) was in fact a prophecy of what it was destined to become.
The Internets - Just as web search is longer search, it is now Googling, the Internet is no longer the Internet, it is a series on Internets, of which the The Net is just one dominion. Parallel internets can be found; subverted in Russia as Runet, controlled within China contained within the Great Firewall, adapting in Cuba as El Paquete Semanal, and emerging in Africa as the Afronet / South America as the Latin American Internet. The 'Net as a singular network / ideology is now largely confined to a US authored and hosted infrastructure strung out across Europe and other satellite territories.
Trade Winds of Change - Westerly wings of change upon the internets follow Silicon Valley's authorship of a Randian Belief System where technology is seen to be the solution of all problems. This belief system has been implicitly embedded within the mythology of startups and exported across North American and Europe. Coupled with this belief system is the explicit mantra now found on every Apple device: "Designed in California, Assembled in China" - a simple market dynamic of supply and demand that has fueled the internets rapid growth. Turbulence can be seen in the growing conflicts of power between financial power motives of Silicon Valley and political power motives of Washington DC, alongside growing blowback from the collective European Commissioner for Competition particularly against Google's market monopoly. Additional turbulence is caused by the alleged Russian state sponsored subversion of information, particularly upon the Western belief in democratic systems. Alternatives can be found within the rising adoption of internet use in Africa, long subject to a Digital Divide, accelerated by investment and influence from China. Underling these Global North dynamics is a Neocolonial Gaze from Global Silicon Valley upon the Global South, as seen in Facebook's aspirations to introduce monopolised internet access and cryptocurrency networks to Latin America, Africa and India.
Trade Routes (ideologies) - Modern trade routes of the internet are now arguably dictated by the singular construct of Surveillance Capitalism. Centered in Silicon Valley, and widely adopted by Global Silicon Valley it follows a basic profit motive of exploiting user data acquisition for monetisation through advertising revenue. A mirrored version of this model is suspected to be forming in China as Surveillance Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics, where Chinese manufactured hardware infrastructure used to access the internet is employed as a vehicle for data acquisition in the interests of state, rather than profit.
Trade Routes (materials) - The internets non-physical nature is paradoxically entirely built upon the physical critical raw materials or CRM's used to manufacture the digital devices needed to access and support the network. Key minerals are procured from around the world to be mostly assembled in electronic contract manufacturing facilities based in China.
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