Monday, 6 September 1999
Is Internet a collection of connected computers?

A few weeks ago I run across Sarie, a South African magazine. Funny how the search engines happily mix up the Dutch and South African languages. Well, these languages are strongly related. For a Dutchy like me, it's quite easy to read South African, be it with a bit of effort.

A short email dialogue (, sorry no English) shrunk the distance. African from one side, and Dutch in return. Each wrote in own language, and understood the others'. It was like a Berlin Wall was torn down, which has kept family members apart for so long. The physical distances vanished as a result of the strong linguistic bond.

Internet facilitates kindred minds to contact each other.

An experienced manager
(Resume H.G.M. Kok)
plans the next step in his career (
Even a rare Edifact specialist finds a kindred mind. Gourmands exchange a recipe.
Afrikaners meet Dutch Java scribler join forces to solve problems.
Perfect strangers help each other, though they would pass each other unnoticed on the street. circles The only thing that counts is the mental bonding. "I am what I think."

In the old days people lived in their own village, in a small circle of people. Peeking at the neighbours was quite an accepted form of social checking. Most people were a member of several village clubs, circles of people in the village.

The latest image of the Corrie CAM That village and clubs are back again. The whole word has become one giant village, including peeking at the neighbours (, although it does not serve social checking anymore.

Have a look at your email address book. These are your own circles, your personal clubs. Every circles has own matters of interest, gossip and scandals. Each of those addressees has circles of his own, which partly overlap yours.

No, the Internet is not a collection of connected computers. Those computers are of minor importance. The Internet is a collection of people, united in all kinds of circles. The Internet village dwellers are travellers who constantly change circles. Send an email to a group of people, and see: a e-circle-talk.

No, I ain't no South African, but if you want just contact me with E-post. I'm just a few button presses away and you're most welcome. Happy surfing and till next week.