Brian Shrader's Siteseeing Blog

Close Down the Internet?

Posted August 2, 2007

Hey, I love Elton John.  I've got all of his albums.  I'm a deep-catalog kind of fan -- right down to the B-sides.  I've seen him in concert three times -- once on the front row.  My respect for his craft is deep and complete.

But Elton has a reputation for -- uh -- hyperbole.  He now says that he wants to shut down the Internet for five years. 

“The Internet has stopped people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff," he told The Sun newspaper in London.  “Instead they sit at home and make their own records, which is sometimes OK, but it doesn’t bode well for long-term artistic vision."

He also says some other stuff about how there's too much technology, people out to be on the streets marching instead of blogging, and so on. 

Now, I'm sure you and I are on the same Web page, dear reader.  Ummm -- the Internet should stay open.  Can we agree on that?  I mean, I need to keep this job!

But I think Elton makes an interesting point about people who hole up and stay on the Web all day.  And I do wonder what it means for art in our culture.  Surely there's a lot of artistic creation in the modern age -- and I'm using "artistic" very liberally -- with the aid of computers and distribution through the Web.  But I can tell you from experience that there is a lot of garbage you have to sort before you find anything worthwhile. 

Now, I'm totally with Elton on one quote.  “In the early Seventies there were at least ten albums released every week that were fantastic," he said.  “Now you’re lucky to find ten albums a year of that quality."

Yep!  It's slim pickings out there.


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  • Steve Crisp Aug 2, 2007

    And that's the rub with zombie machines. You don't actually need the cooperation of the machine owners to use their computers. There are already tons of zombies set up and running, but they are mostly being used as spam mirrors to deliver all that junk that you get in your inbox all the time. By recreating the zombie network with DNS reflectors that send hostname requests repeatedly to the root servers, the crash to their knees. The only real catch is that you have to spread the zombies all over the world and with all different ISPs. InterNic can not wholesale block Class A IP assignments from dozens of major providers or if they did, you have effectively taken down the internet via their own block.

  • TruthBKnown Aug 2, 2007

    Ok, it would be a little easier than the rivers in my example.

    But it would still be almost as impossible to actually pull off. That's more what I meant. Of course, if all or a significant portion of mankind wanted the internet destroyed, it could be taken down.

  • ravenraider1 Aug 2, 2007

    Brian, Icertainly hope the internet doesn't shut down as well, if for no other reason, I would also like for you to keep your job. lol

  • Steve Crisp Aug 2, 2007

    Actually, it's not all that difficult to shut down the internet, or at least significant portions of it. All it would take is a coordinated denial of service attack against the root servers from a million zombie machines. It would take probably a month or so to set up and I'm actually surprised that no one has accomplished it thus far. Some folks have come close, taking out six or so, but not the entire network.

  • TruthBKnown Aug 2, 2007

    It would be about as easy to shut down the internet as it would be to stop all the rivers in the world from flowing.

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx Aug 2, 2007

    I too have been a big fan of Elton John since the 70's and have also seen him in concert 3 times.

    Of course his comment is a bit extreme. There are also people who say that there is absolutely no reason to have a television because there is nothing on but junk. Of course there is a lot of junk, but there is worthwhile programming as well, if you look for it.

    I'm not addicted to the Internet but it does enable me to keep up with my friends and family, even those who live around the country much easier than trying to catch them by telephone. Again, there's a lot of good stuff on the Internet, as long as you're careful and don't believe everything you read.

    And means that I don't have to be sitting in front of my television at 6:00 to find out what's going on in the world.

  • .Milky Aug 2, 2007

    Elton was an awesome musician. I love his early work. The decline in good music is not the fault of technology. The greed and arrogance of the record labels did that for us. They took control over which music is played on the radio from the DJs and the audience by helping to buy up all the stations and syndications and force feeding us one no-talent loser band after another.

    That sent a lot of musicians to the indy lables that are now being bought up by the big dogs. So, where does the non-economically viable musician go? Where does the music lover go that wants new music that is not being injected by a team of bankers? The Internet.

    Because technology is so AWESOME right now, people on a kmart budget can have a homestudio that sounds like Abbey Road. The listener can sample music from around the world before ever paying for a cd or a download. There is tons of it that are not so good and tons that are. I would be supprised if any of it is worse than disco.

  • Legswilson Aug 2, 2007

    Brian... you're so right about Elton John. I have loved his music from the beginning and know most every song on every album. I even had the British release of "Madman Across the Water" album shipped to me from England. I had always said if I ever had a daughter I would name her "Harmony" but I did not. Elton can be a bit extreme but that's what makes him Elton. He is a true showman in concert. I've also seen him several times.

  • wilfhh29 Aug 2, 2007

    I find that I have been able to connect with more people through the internet. I have a number of groups that in which I am a part: both professional and social. Some of the relationships are very good ones even though we have never met face-to-face.

    Having the information at the click of a mouse has also given me more free time. It is a challenge to turn off the computer for a while because it can be addicting. But like everything, internet time should be in moderation. It is a useful tool, but it does not form the bulk of my existence.

    I can take Elton John's words into consideration. I'm sure he wants there to be awareness even if what he says is extreme.

  • Decker Aug 2, 2007

    As his thinking is good in many ways, It's also irrational in many ways. So many people use the internet for their job now a days that we must keep it open. I imagine he should be able to realize that. But in the same respect a lot of people are on the internet 24/7/365...




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