Today David Weinberger blogs about the Web as a medium (which makes sense to me) and about the Web as a world. We’ve talked about this kind of topic before, so I’m nostalgically excited; maybe we’ll get into a jolly online donnybrook about it with acerbic interjections from other quarters.
The difficulty with that prospect lies in the fact that I agree with him, that it does make sense to talk about the Web as world — though as he and I both know, I maintain firmly that it’s a non-spatial world, hence unlike anything we humans have explored before. In that sense, it’s not a “world,” because spatiality constitutes an essential characteristic of every other world we’ve encountered. The hyperlinked “world” of the Web is thus radically different as well as also “world”-like; the Web may thereby teach us more about what inhabiting a world means, in ways that we hadn’t hitherto imagined.
That’s what excites me most of all: we don’t already know what we’re doing, we don’t already know how our adventures online will turn out. That’s a setting in which we can do some serious learning!