The Magical Geography of the Web

The web has an odd magical kind of geography. There is no such thing as “location”, so everything is an equal distance from you. A whole universe of knowledge is available, instantaneously accessible no matter where you are, but until you make the right invocation, it is invisible and might just as well not be there. And because there is no proper notion of location, there is no such thing as truly useful maps. There is no country called “PTSD and blood sugar – istan”, where all the information on that topic is co-located. So we have to rely on explorers, either dumb but persistent mechanical ones like google, or smarter (but less persistent) human ones, to explore this uncharted vastness and come back with useful tidbits that they deposit in a centralized depository. Which itself is no more or less visible than anything else in the web. So what makes people good at finding stuff on the web is collecting a large mental library of useful invocations, having the smartest avatars (though none of them are very smart, yet), and getting the most out of the avatars you do have. It’s striking that we have unwittingly created, in digital form, the topography first imagined to apply to the world of magic, where invocations are the essence of power.

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