I’ve read a lot of defenses and descriptions of hyperlinks, but this may be the most poetic:
But hyperlinks aren’t just the skeleton of the web: they are its eyes, a path to its soul. And a blind webpage, one without hyperlinks, can’t look or gaze at another webpage – and this has serious consequences for the dynamics of power on the web.
Part prescient critique, part nostalgic complaint; a little glib and a lot biased – but Hossein Derakhshan’s essay is in the ballpark of righteousness. He benefits from the unique position of having held a measure of power through the ’00s and having no access to the internet at all during Facebook’s empire-building of the last seven years: it allows him to see the present social network platform oligarchy as a whole and strange thing.
Also, though his essay skids off the rails after this section, this bit is totally real – emphasis mine:
Fewer users are directly checking dedicated webpages, instead getting fed by a never-ending flow of information that’s picked for them by complex and secretive algorithms.
Welcome to 2016 everyone.