The is a truly miraculous thing, it began as a network which established a like between different computers, and now its more like a network which links countless systems together. The development of transportation technology like planes, trains, and automobiles shortened the distance between each of us, but the internet essentially erased that distance. With that being said its basically just a communication system, but it is a communication system without equal, so to ask a person to re build. or construct a concept of equal scale and impact would be like asking them to build god (that is to say, construct a new religion down to the texts and practices). But new religions are built all the time so we may as well give it a try, so would one go about rebuilding the internet?
Well to me the most obvious thing to do would be to turn to other forms of communication. Only through communication can we form a connection, and that is the basis of the internet, a connection. One of the first things I thought of was smoke signals. Smoke signals are one of the oldest forms of long distance communication, and they can be used to send messages, signal danger and more, so they Immediately stood out to me as a good potential replacement. At the same time fireworks came to mind as a more obvious and perhaps more powerful form of communications.
There are two issues with this idea though, the first is the massive amounts of pollution this would cause. with the frequency at which people use the internet the planets atmosphere would quickly be covered in black smoke, which would probably obscure there smoke signals ironically enough. The second problem is that I have no idea how to create smoke signals, or how to use fireworks, and I believe the use of either would quickly see me arrested in an case. I still attempted to recreate personal smoke signals and facsimile fireworks indoors, using candles (this was inadvisable but nothing caught fire so its fine). The results were conclusive: I had no idea what i was doing. and chances are most people wouldn’t either, meaning that it would be difficult for them to properly use this internet replacement, and ease of use is one of the plus sides of the internet so that isn’t great.
The next idea that came to mind was the use of drums or music for communication. Drums have been used by many cultures for the purposes of communication especially in forested areas, and have proven to be effective at communication intricately over distances. Incorporating other instruments and music to create a sound network could potentially be a passible reconstruction of the internet, however similar issues arise for this form of communication. Aside from causing noise pollution and potentially interfering with each others sound, this method seems like it be exclusionary towards deaf people and the hearing impaired, also individuals with little musical talent such as myself.
In the end I don’t think it could really work out with any other communication network, the internet is just too many different things for different people, its a work place, a school, an art studio, a music studio, a restaurant. Perhaps I took the assignment too literally, but even if I tried to rebuild the internet on an emotional level it would have failed, because the internet to me is a place to share both joy and pain with others, your accomplishments and failures, and I just don’t think you could do that any where else.