Two things will happen if the internet is no more, on account of a variety of reasons - global nuclear war, breakdown of the internet backbone due to overload, a virus/DNS attack that cripples the DNS...there are many more nightmare scenarios. Sorry, I digressed. I said two things will happen if the internet, our dear old internet is gone:
1. There will be a sense of rage and emptiness among all of us used to downloading, uploading ,sharing, freeloading, ranting, venting and thinking up the next Google-like singularity.
2. Then we will remember that our fathers (or grandfathers) had no internet and they did fine. BTW, Nicholas Carr will be happy now that Google is no more rotting our brains, making us idle sharecroppers working for Web 2.0 companies for free.
The topic of a nuked internet has been discussed before: On this funny article from Cracked where the writers asked for photoshopped versions of an internet-free future.
A Slashdot discussion on the topic says,
New industries will boom. People will rediscover interpersonal interaction. Bars will thrive on singles night (as a million lonely Slashdotters hit the streets in their pathetic attempts to get laid, that will fail on or off the net).
But, a better article about a post-internet society was done on 'How to save the world Blog', where the writer says,
* Instead of downloading music and film, create your own music and theatre, in live performance
* Instead of taking photos, draw, paint, sculpt
* Instead of blogging, write a journal, and meet in your community and share stories and ideas, cook together, rant, organize, build something together
* Instead of playing online games, organize a real-space scavenger hunt, eco-walk, or bicycle rallye
* Instead of taking online courses, unschool yourself in your own community, and learn about your place… or show/teach others what you know (including, most importantly, teaching children how to think and learn for themselves)
* Instead of organizing online petitions and complaining online about the state of the world, go visit your local politician, get involved in community activities that make a difference (disrupt, show your outrage, satirize, or create something better)
* Instead of looking for health information online, set up a local self-help health co-op, offering preventive care, self-diagnostic and holistic self-treatment information
* Instead of porn… well, use your imagination
I for one will not miss: Techcrunch (shitty, non-analytical stories), Robert Scoble (professional self-evangelizer), Twitter (too much noise), Facebook (it is pure 'in your face' evil), so-called Social Media experts, PR shillers masquerading as un-biased bloggers, all the internet scammers, mainstream news sites feeding on bloggers' content w/o giving recogntion (and dissing bloggers all the while), Andrew Keen, Internet success gurus, Cowardly cyberbullies & stalkers and all the shameless self-promoters of the world.
But, I will miss these:
1. Wikipedia (in fact the whole Wikimedia foundation),
2. Google Properties (despite all its privacy flaws and suffocating reach, it is the best indexer around),
3. Project Gutenberg,
4. MIT Open Courseware Project,
10. Hacker News,
11. Internet Archive Project,
12. Sourceforge, and
13. The Creative Commons.
What will you miss when the internet is gone?
[P.S.: I Think I will also miss the writings of Paul Graham, Dave Winer, Jay Rosen, Doc Searls, Lawrence Lessig, Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, all the Gawker Media Writers and Jeff Jarvis as well news from the New York Times, The Guardian and The New Yorker.]