Column for August 19-25 by Jack

Cyber24 - the misconceived brilliant project

Today, Id like to go back to the widely advertised 24 Hours in Cyberspace project and take a peek at the results. Put together by the famous Against All Odds group , who have in their portfolio such photo-journalist large-scale projects as "A Day in the life of America" , "A Day in the life of Australia", "A Day in the life of Soviet Union" and now "A Day in the life of Cyberspace".

For 24 hours at February the 8th 1996 a bunch of photo-journalists all over the globe produced a small universe of images about 'how cyberspace changes peoples lives. Along with that, there have been announced a few competitions, for the best story and for the best web site. No surprise, the participants have never been notified as to the status of their stories. Anyway, the winners, (by the way about 99% of whom come from the U.S., others from Canada, for a pretty strange reason,) got their prizes, so let them enjoy the little heap of hi-technology toys. Also, 'a permanent Cyber24 site has been established, unveiling a few really graphical and exciting stories every week.

The people behind the project wanted to show the net in all its complexity and variety as the 'outsiders might see it and so they can understand it. Their 6 aspects being 'the human touch, 'open for business, 'earthwatch, 'into the light, 'to the rescue (that american trade-marked ah-that-makes- me-cry thing), 'sex, lies and websites (a nice combo, aint it). The latter, of course being the most interesting to the 'regular webhead 'checking things out, won my click-power. Alas, I found no lies whatsoever, a bit of sex, mostly for scaring the meek, and mildly annoying CDA die-hards, as well as some websites, a few of which werent working. Apart from the websites I found a few of things which didnt really fit anywhere, like bicyclist-cops in Dallas using micro laptops to catch things, to a bunch of hackers who go 'dumpster-diving for 'hi-tech booty. Pretty exciting, indeed.

All in all, the idea behind the project was to show the people behind the net. Yeah, we have been presented with miraculous (in a truly American sense of this word) fringe cases of the cyberspatial activity, but the true spirit of the net, which, as we all know, is based around the routine wonders, was left somewhere else, perhaps the authors thought it to be the insiders stuff. After all, it is not so glamorous and there is no way you can make a story out of it. For shall we not forget, that the net is nothing more than a medium (definitely a supreme one), a way of communication, a gold mine, and a toy. Its all around humans, like me, you and whoever else, and its not the net which is changing our lives, but "we" ourselves changing our lives thru it. No need to imagine it as a 'frightening living creature, that influences our lives. So, vote Cyber-grace, instead of Cyber-space.

We'll be back with more in a week.

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