As we continue to move into the digital frontiers it may be helpful to see cyberspace in terms of maps, one of which would have a pole marked Digital Athens, the other marked Digital Sparta. We live between the poles of optimism – from all that the Net enhances and enables – and reality – war on the ground and now war in cyberspace.
Let’s add a filter to those maps – B.G. (before Google) and A.G. (after Google) as cybersociologists and historians will no doubt see this as the new dividing line for the Digital Age. Every good explorer needs maps, or makes them as she goes along, and Google Search has provided everyone with the cartographic tools for cyberspace. Soon we will be able to put on our Google Glasses and map our way as we explore our hybrid reality.
I’m currently taking a thought provoking course led by Howard Rheingold, called Think-Know Tools. One of the things that has come up has been the evolution of communication – from an oral tradition, to written, to multimedia, to now what has been termed Remix. I think it is safe to say that we, and culture as we experience it are being remixed. Maps are going to be important. To riff on Bob Dylan, “I’ll let you be in my maps, if I can be in yours.”