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ruthless compassion
21 November 2006 @ 03:05 pm
Today, I give thanks for the internet.

No, really. I love my life, and I can't imagine how I could have gotten it, or anything close to it, without the internet. After all, most of the people I know, I know through connections that were either initially made or strengthened through BBSes, usenet, chat rooms and the like. I probably would have ended up in Boston without the internet, but I almost certainly would not have ended up in the circle I did.

Furthermore, my life would almost certainly be more conventional without the internet. I've never thought of myself as being "hardwired" with an orientation toward nonmonogamy, and there's a good chance that if I hadn't been exposed to those ideas through other people (and, yes, the internet as a whole), it wouldn't have occurred to me to try nonmonogamy, which is now a big part of my life and how I figure myself in relationships, both sexual/romantic and platonic.

Going to Guatemala would have been a hell of a lot harder (and less likely) without the vast availability of information online. I picked the country through information gleaned through online research, and I picked my school and volunteer programs the same way, plus testimonials from people I don't know who'd gone out of their way to make information available to strangers like me who wanted to do something a little off the beaten path with their lives.

When I was in Guatemala, all of my (relatively rare) homesickness dreams centered around my computer: I would dream that I had brought it with me, that there was a wireless connection nearby, that somehow I had the ease of connection that it represents. For me, computers are primarily about connection, and because so much of my life and my joy is tied up with the people who enrich my experience, who challenge me, who make me laugh and make me angry, all of my missing of them could be symbolized in dreamspeak in my computer.

I have no doubt that my different life-sans-internet would be wonderful in its own way. I'm oriented toward happiness, and I'm sure I would have found another path to it, but because this is the one I took, I'm incredibly grateful that I did, because I wouldn't know what I was missing without it.
 
 
ruthless compassion
21 November 2006 @ 10:08 pm
My computer is almost 5 years old, and it's getting (getting? okay, is) slow and sad. I need a new one! This is why I need you all to talk me out of it.