This review has so far generated enough interest that the reader has posed the quite reasonable question that serves as the title of this section. Although the exact nature of The Internet’s workings are so complicated (and diabolical) that no one person can be entrusted with every detail, I can shed some light on the matter. (Hint: Though only in a form allowed by the appropriate governing bodies!)
About the tubes
On June 28, 2006, U.S. Senator Ted Stevens let slip that The Internet was made up of a series of tubes. The government and its media allies quickly ridiculed the notion that The Data Things carried by The Internet was somehow propelled through pipes—portraying the Senator as a backwoods rube who had no business ordering from anything but TGIF’s Little Bo Peep menu, much less determining government policy.
With last April’s Revelation Rally we have learned that Stevens was, in fact, the primary architect of The Internet—that his six decades of bumbling and seemingly corrupt service to this nation were, in fact, all part of an elaborate cover story to protect The Internet (and members of its governing agency). When, in a 47-minute unguarded moment, he vomited up The Internet’s technical details, he left both himself and The Internet’s tubes vulnerable.
Stevens paid the personal price of being confined for life to his personal bunker just outside Mary’s Igloo, Alaska while word was spread that he had perished in a zeppelin accident. (Hint: He remains in his bunker to this day, cowed by threats that should he emerge the local population will mistake him for The Snow Wraith and drive an icicle through his heart!)
At the same time, The Internet Synod (the The Internet’s governing body, known as the TIS) had to move rapidly with its plans to replace the existing The Internet structure.
What does it matter?
Unhappy though The Internet Synod was with Steven’s slip, its timing couldn’t have been better. Plans were already underway to change the structure and design of The Internet. Before his banishment, the Senator had become increasingly concerned about its liquid-based workings—particularly as it performed so slowly in the winter months of his native arctic climes.
As luck would have it, just as the TIS was seeking new means of powering The Internet, Princeton’s prepubescent savant, Zane Buckerterd, inadvertently discovered an alternative power source through his establishment of The Social Netwonking.
Countless radio dramas have been performed audiostrating Buckerterd’s efforts, so we needn’t go into great detail here. Suffice it to say that his sophomore treatise, “What Do You Mean It’s None Of My Business!? Fuck You!” changed the face of The Internet as well as the lives of the hundreds of people who found their way to it.
Naturally, much of the treatise was rightly dismissed as the sociopathic pouting of a 9-year-old (Buckerterd’s age at the time). But strip away the paragraphs concerning fly dismemberment and the attractions of voyeurism and you come to the essential element that powers today’s The Internet.
In carefully controlled experiments, Buckerterd discovered that you can generate a not-insignificant amount of personal power by hollering at Old Lady Cross that she smells of cat feces and then running away laughing maniacally. However, that power is reduced when you next meet her and she cuffs you across the ear while telling your mother in exacting terms what a putrid little cockroach you are.
However, if before engaging in the initial confrontation you put a large bag over your head, the chances of suffering any negative consequences are statistically insignificant.
In short, as every school child now knows, Buckerterd pustulated that A (Anonymity) + N (Negativity) = Power. For the general population this principle was originally shortened to ANP but, as English speakers found it difficult to pronounce (Hint: Try it!), it became instead, the term we use today.
The application of anti-matter
The technical details of how anti-matter powers The Internet would require dozens of university-grade sidewalks and two boxes of Crayola brand Chalk For Higher Learning. Frankly, you wouldn’t understand a word or symbol of it. So, let’s put it in its simplest terms.
The Internet runs on negative energy.
Very basically, every Interneter powers The Internet through their use of this energy. Whenever an Interneter corrects another Interneter over their use of grammar, compares them or their favorite pizza topping to Adolph Himmler, or just generally swanks about in a superior way, The Internet uses that energy to feed itself.
Of course without anonymity the scheme falls apart. For example, how likely is it that your friend John would enter your cubby, glance at the tie-pin you use, and accuse you of wire fraud based on your product choice? Not very. However, were a concealing paper bag available just outside your cubby, the threat of death wouldn't stop him from donning the bag and making his vile imputation. (Hint: Though he might want to pitch his voice a little higher when doing so!)
The exact method by which The Internet extracts this energy from Interneters is a protected secret. I have, however, been authorized to say that an unwashed body is a greater conductor of it than one recently popped from the shower.
Next: The Knowledge Places