The Great Joke of the Internet

Mika Yeap
Mika Yeap
Apr 20 · 3 min read

If you had told me three years ago, back when I was dumpster diving, that I’d soon be making cryptocurrency trading bots, I would’ve laughed in your face. “Get out of here,” I would’ve said through a mouthful of yogurt that was a touch too sour. Because three years isn’t a long time to put your life back together. Yet somehow, here I am. Ended a long-term relationship. Dropped out of school with no plan. Dropped out of the comfy job I got afterwards. Lost my entire social circle during the first lockdown because I became a monster. But I still recovered. And it’s all thanks to just one tool. A single sharp tool that pried open the entire oyster of the world and made it mine.

This is a time of abundance. Sure, we were rioting in the streets less than a year ago. And a rogue virus changed our lives forever. And people unleash their assault rifles in grocery stores, schools, and churches. But all things considered, we’re thriving as a race. I mean, just revisit the last century, if you think this is bad. Six years of World War 2? The constant threat of nuclear war that came after? Tiananmen Square? Come on.

Now, most of the planet has access to a very sharp tool called the internet. That’s what allowed me to go from expired sausages to trading bots before my friends even finished their undergraduate degree. I’m not bragging, I’m honestly amazed. Because I know that if I were in that situation even five years earlier, I’d still be digging through a dumpster somewhere. But the internet set me free.

Through the web, I learned how to code. How to trade. How to manage time. How to run a business. How to attract talent. How to manage a team. And even how to survive those punishing, long nights alone when all I had was some code that barely worked and a bunch of big dreams. There’s no doubt the web is powerful, but recently I’ve noticed that power doesn’t necessarily have a positive impact.

Because although the internet has unlimited information, no one really knows how to make sense of it. We don’t truly know how to parse the breadth and depth of information out there. We take ten minutes to read one article at a time. Our data gathering system is primitive. Restricted. Ineffective to process even a fraction of the information that would be useful to us.

I think that’s the great joke of the internet: It gives us everything we’d possibly want to know, but we don’t know what to do with it. The world has never been more open — figuratively speaking. There’s never been a better time to chase some wild dream. And yet we hardly utilize this leverage. Because we simply don’t know how.

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