Occupy: The War Within – Chapter 1


In the beginning… there was life as we knew it when we were pre-Occupied.
In the present… there is the Occupy movement in all its forms.
In the future… there is a thousand years of Peace.

This chapter is going to start by giving away a billion-dollar idea for free.

The day before I discovered Occupy Wall Street, my last Facebook post was an expression of dissatisfaction (to put it mildly) with Facebook itself, and a stated desire to terminate my account entirely.

I was already aghast at the commoditizing of its patronage for financial gain. An “original” netizen, old enough to remember monochrome screens, Dos-Shell & CGA gaming, I longed to revert to the pre-commercial days of the internet when no business-driven websites existed; a time when as many seem to forget, we already had Facebook.

It was called home pages.

Home pages were a wholly customisable, free, Facebook page. They encouraged the creativity of the owner while allowing them to share as much or as little of their life as they pleased, with strictly those who they chose to share it with.

The most notable characteristic was their decentralised nature. They solved all the problems Facebook have created.

While appearing to be a comprehensive social media service, Facebook is actually extremely limiting. Because your use of any database you do not own, ultimately confines you within its parameters.

You can never step beyond them. They are hard-wired in.

A home page, however was yours. You signed no “Terms and Conditions”, didn’t have to scour a “Privacy Policy”, and your personal data wasn’t used for the enrichment of corporations.

I have long fantasised about a return to decentralised home pages and perhaps it is within our eventual grasp. If we ever learn to go back, to the future.

I firmly believe that to return the ownership of their own databases to the people, is to free them.

But as of September 28th 2011, my dissatisfaction with the advancement of conventional web technologies and specifically, its anti-individual pro-corporation direction, was at its peak.

Then I saw Occupy Wall Street.