This wonderful post at Ribbonfarm got me thinking about places as narratives. Specifically, it reminded of something I wrote a few years ago on the subject – Watermark. The conclusion of the post that got me thinking was this – The space we inhabit is more topological than ever as we locate our positions within networks instead of maps and this may be the most true narrative about the present age: No matter where in the networked world we’re coming from or traveling to, we’re already there.
Indeed, places were probably the earliest narrative that existed – in our early days as a species, we probably didn’t move away much from the place we were born. As civilisation evolved, I think many more institutional narratives were added – religion, nation, culture, and so on. In the era of consumption, even brands (media and otherwise) have attempted to invade the space. For example, in our own lives, there are many narratives that we consciously or otherwise become part of – the kind of books we read, the music we listen to, the movies we watch – in short, popular culture. Each generation has its own set – from Ramayan on TV to Facebook.
Sometime back, I had written about the internet being the zeroth place – the one that supersedes all the other places, including the physical ones, in our life. Especially with a social layer, it has the capability to accommodate all our narratives – individual and societal. The Ribbonfarm post talks about how the default nature of the digitised era is to store, and no matter how much data our society manages to produce, we’re even better at finding places to keep it. In that sense, it isn’t just geography that the internet seems to have removed as a driver, but time itself. The other day, when I was reading The Confusion, I happened to read a post from 2005 which summed up how I felt about The Baroque Cycle in general. Yes, I tweeted about it. But I still can’t be sure about the evolution, and wonder if the abundance of storage might drive us to consciously seek out ways where the information will not be stored. eg. the rise of Snapchat.
I have always felt that narratives are a way to fulfill our sense of belonging. Across time, this role has been played by several entities. The internet has made it possible for even the smallest of niches to have its own narrative. Where does it go from here?
until next time, comment on the narration?