The Web before the Web was the Web

The best of the Internet bears some similarities with the best of cities, though I suppose we could say the same about the worst and in-between as well—e.g., “Is Web community a myth?”

He was describing the ballet of the train station. But his description could just as easily have applied to the Internet. Think about it: Serendipitous encounters between people who know each other well, sort of well, and not at all. People of every type, and with every type of agenda, trying to meet up with others who share that same agenda. An environment that’s alive at all hours, populated by all types, and is, most of the time, pretty safe. What he was saying, really, was that New York had become the Web. Or perhaps more, even: that New York was the Web before the Web was the Web, characterized by the same free-flowing interaction, 24/7 rhythms, subgroups, and demimondes.

from “Is Urban Loneliness a Myth?,” by Jennifer Senior, New York Magazine, 23 November 2008 :: via Swiss Miss, Everything on the Internet is True

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