Manifesto 2: The Return of Manifesto

I believe that I was hasty with my first manifesto. I do firmly believe in the principles I laid out previously, but it was limited in scope. I'd like to take revisit it and expand on it, so here I am.

I believe in our right to express ourselves freely and the right to pursue happiness. I believe we all should also share the right to privacy, but where I live. We should be allowed to select who knows what information about us. Laws can be changed or broken at any time, so they are not enough to protect this right. We need the ability to prove mathematically that our communications and data are secure when we desire, not be forced to trust third parties to do that for us. Look at how many data breaches take place every year. It's unfortunate, but third parties can only be trusted on a case by case basis after careful review by the individual. To make matters worse, there are countless instances of these third parties handing off your data to be sold as a commodity, or to governments under the guise of protecting their citizens. When we are forced to tie our identities to our everyday online interactions, we are forced into positions where we may not be comfortable with, or ones where we aren'rt able to express ourselves freely. It is only natural to filter your thoughts when your identity can be linked to every digital action you make, to every word you type. This doesn't only happen on social media and the majority of other websites, it's even happening inside our operating systems (lookin' at you, Microsoft and Apple).

The homogenization of the modern internet disturbs me. I remember when the internet felt like a wild space where no one's voice mattered more than any other. At least, it did for me. You could find weird corners of the internet all over the place, fully customizable. But some said the internet was just a fad. So authorities didn't prioritize policing it to hell and back. The internet wasn't dominated by the prescences of tech giants. But now every link leads back to Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, or another site owned and controlled by a faceless tech megacorp. And they're profiting off of our data. Because of their need to maintain a beautified public image, our ability to express ourselves in these spaces has eroded.

Meanwhile, massive businesses buy their power from governments that rarely understand or care about our needs. These same entities shape society through their collection of data and the advertising we are consequently fed. Advertising has become ubiquitous in daily life, though none of us ever gave explicit consent for this. It has gotten its roots into every facet of modern society. They've infected the internet. A place that was built to help us connect with one another has morphed into another arm of capitalism. Another way for those above us to exert their power and to manipulate us.

This disturbs me on a visceral level. I know that up until this point I may have come off pessimistic. But I really don't feel the situation is hopeless. And tools exist to help us protect our privacy if we choose to use them, and a large, healthy community exists to support the ideals I've described thus far. And I feel that if we take the time to assert our own individuality by building spaces and forming communities, that power is ours for the taking. The internet can be colorful and free, and all we need to do is cultivate our little plots of land and refuse to give in when they try to take more from us. There will always be a way to resist. The great thing is that anyone can pick up HTML and CSS, and with a little work, have a fantastic working site in little time. No, my site isn't well-built. I mean, LOOK AT THIS PAGE. I barely know what the fuck I'm doing. But for the first time in my life I'm just putting my not-so-perfect work out into the world and sharing it with no reservations.

The internet feels so curated. I just wanna throw my brain onto a canvas and say "fuck it, this is me,". Currently, this site is a mess. But I'm new - it should absolutely be a mess! I'm proud of my mess. I don't want to work everything into a perfect finish. That'll never happen, as I've learned time and time again. I'll learn how to make it better over time. And I'll always keep copies of my work as it grows, and keep as much of it accessible as I can. I don't care about a final product to show off anymore. I want my little corner of the internet to tell a story. I want it to show how I've changed over time. Who I am now and who I was. I shouldn't delete my past self because I might not have been correct. That's all a part of the process, and it deserves to be celebrated.

The more I learn about the digital space, the more it fascinates me. It's such a powerful and complex force, one could treat it like an entirely new dimension. A space for us to create our own realities and communities, limited only by our imaginations and ability to solve problems inside of it. I want to create my own spaces, and anyone can visit them. I've become so inspired to learn as much as I possibly can about how this space works. I want to create my own games and tools. And silly applications. And serious applications. There's so much to soak in. But damn! It's a fun ride to be on. And I hope more people can begin to look at life less like a race to a finish line. It's so much better to slow the hell down and just enjoy life.

Basically, I'm just here to try and create something cool. It doesn't have a real purpose, it's just something I have fun with. We should all find a place in our lives where we can find joy in creating. The powerful people in our world would rather us stay in line and contribute to their desires - infinite economic growth. Of course, we all gotta eat, so we all have to jump through their hoops sometimes. But that time outside of obligation is precious. Use it to explore the world. Use it to explore yourself and bond with those you love. There's so much beauty here when you take the time to look for it, and there are a ton of wonderful people on it. We all have so much to learn from each other. Mark your place in the world and make something of it. Learn and grow from your wrong turns, your mistakes, and your failures. Don't be afraid to live. And don't be afraid of change. It's gonna happen anyway!



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