As physical beings, we are literally open to the world, suffused every second with air from somewhere else; as social beings, we are equally determined by our contexts. If we can embrace that, then we can begin to appreciate our and others’ identities as the emergent and fluid wonders that they are. Most of all, we can open ourselves to those new and previously unimaginable ideas that may arise from our combination, like the lightning that happens between an evanescent cloud and the ever-shifting ground.
Just as Masanobu Fukuoka believed a deeper understanding of nature is necessary to agriculture, the citizens of the web could certainly benefit from an increased awareness of their virtual environment. Moving off the grid in a digital sense might mean opting out of mainstream internet providers to connect through independent mesh networks, or hosting content on local computers distributed across a peer-to-peer web. Though the driving technologies can be complex to understand, it is important to demystify the inner workings of the web so that individuals may regain control of the tools that build it. The further we are distanced from the network’s core, the more powerless we become in redirecting its growth.