Vector surfing

Mckenzie Wark talks about the opposition of a free, open hub of information that many of us see as the Internet. He refers to the ‘vectoralist class’ that controls vectors, which are the pathways with which information go through. The internet is the vastest vector; it’s almost like the sea, or outer space. It’s seemingly infinite. If we know what we are looking for and where to find it, it’s not so intimidating, but we can get lost in it forever too.

Link surfing is a great example of an internet vector you can get lost in. Link surfing is beginning on one article on a website and by clicking on hyperlinks, you end up on a different article at the end of your online session. There are 4,594,496 articles on the English Wikipedia, meaning there are that many starting points and that many end points. It’s happened to me many times, I read an article of interest on Wikipedia, and then I click on a hyperlink that catches my attention without putting much thought into it, and then an hour later I realised I’ve spent much time reading articles that had nothing to do with the first page I read that session.

The major social media sites like Facebook and Twiter are also a hub for link surfing, and unlike Wikipedia they usually aren’t educational, rather just procrastination at its finest. I know many others can relate to just wanting to check Facebook for a few minutes before doing something productive, only for hours to past and you realise all you’ve done is stalked Facebook friend after friend. What do you get out of that? Not much, assuming it really is just stalking with no plans to interact with the profile holders.

These social media sites are the biggest vectors. You can get lost in them, and the only borders (‘restrictions’) is the profile holders privacy settings, but what use are privacy settings when the people who run these website can access everything, and hand it over to third parties to subject you to advert after advert. Even if you delete it, you aren’t a border on your own content, as it can often remain in existence, you just can’t see it.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Stefan Bradley’s story.