Is The Internet Alive?

Thank you so much to everybody who’s sent me questions so far! I love all the questions and I plan to answer all of them in good time. This week, I’m going to answer a question that came from barbarr:

Is the internet alive?

That is an excellent question! Well, barbarr, there’s the long answer and the short answer: the short answer is yes, of course the internet is alive.

For the long answer, I’d like to look more closely into why this is obviously true. First, what qualifies something as ‘alive’? Normally, I’d probably do some research, or at least look at my old high school notes, to find actual scientists’ criteria for possessing life, but that seems outside the purview of this blog, so instead I’ll just make something up:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Potential for growth
  3. Belonging to one of the Kingdoms of living things

Is the internet self-aware? I think we all know that it is. If the internet were not self-aware, how would this, a blog post on the internet, even be able to acknowledge the word ‘internet’? It wouldn’t, of course.

Can the internet grow? Why, it’s growing all the time! A week ago, this blog didn’t exist; now it is a new appendage on the internet. When you comment on this blog, you will be allowing the internet to grow yet again.

Which brings us to the third criterion: Kingdoms. So, apparently there are supposed to be five Kingdoms of living things, but I couldn’t be bothered to look them up, so I’ll say there are four. I like the number four better, anyway:

  1. Animals
  2. Rocks
  3. Mold
  4. Plants

Is the internet an animal? I think it would be very difficult to say yes to that. After all, all animals have the potential to be pets. The internet cannot be a pet except in very specific circumstances. Therefore, the internet is not an animal.

Is the internet a rock? This is a more possible suggestion, but once again I am forced to say no: if the internet were a kind of rock, it would be very heavy, and it’s not. In fact, the internet used to be made of rocks– that’s why dial-up internet was so slow, because the rocks were difficult to lift– but high-speed internet is clearly much lighter than a rock.

Is the internet a kind of mold? Although it is true that some parts of the internet smell terrible, the internet is obviously not a kind of mold, because it does not grow on bread, and as everyone knows, all types of mold have the ability to grow on bread.

Which leaves us with the final option: plants. Now, there are three things that define something as a plant:

  1. Needing sunlight
  2. Being attractive to bees
  3. Being green

The first point is the most obviously true of the internet. You know how people often lose internet connection during a heavy thunderstorm? That’s because there is so little sunlight during such storms that the internet cannot sustain itself.

The second is more tricky. How often do we see bees pollinating the internet, after all? However, if you connect your computer to the internet, and leave it outside on a sunny day, you will find bees flocking to your screen to inspect the internet, finding it just as fascinating as any other plant.

As for the third, it seems false at first but my findings may surprise you. In Spanish, the internet is known as “La Red”. Why is this? Think about it. Red is the complementary colour to green. This is a classic disguise/misdirection technique! The internet, being self-aware, does not wish us to know that it is alive; thus, it subverts our expectations and hides from its definition as a plant, and thus a life-form, by taking as its name the very opposite of what is true.

We learn from this not only that the internet is alive, but that it is a plant, and that its native language is Spanish.




Disclaimer: None of the facts in this blog should be taken as true. The writer is not actually lazy, just very silly.




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