Online Exile and the World Wide Wilderness

My body is currently covered in a giant rash. It’s pretty embarrassing, but apparently I have no problem posting about it on the internet, where strangers can read about it forever and ever.
The thing is, I can’t really leave the house – anything but jammies exacerbates the itching, plus I look like a leper – and am getting stir crazy. Like, bored enough to dig deep into the darkest depths of the internet.

come play with us...
come play with us…

I’m not talking about adventures into the Deep Web, which are a gamble. You run the risk of seeing things you can’t unsee. These are sites that are not indexed on your standard search engine. They’re not meant to be found by the general population for reasons that are… nefarious. For example, according to The Daily Dot, the Deep Web drug market is more robust than it was prior to the big Silk Road bust of 2013.

Snuff films, weaponry that defies the Geneva Conventions, human trafficking, hitman services, the most reprehensible pornography imaginable – these are all fodder for the Deep Web. I’ve never surfed any of the types of sites listed above (thankfully, many of the worst Deep Web pages require downloading a special browser to view them), but I’m probably now on one or more government watch lists just for blogging about them. If you’re curious, do yourself a solid and just read this article from The Next Web. Your IT guy/gal will thank you.

The “depths of the internet” of which I speak are more like “deep web” – note the lowercase and quote marks. These are sites that do appear on Google, but they serve such a niche audience that they are buried, virtually invisible to the casual surfer.

Stuff like this! It’s a forum populated entirely by people who believe that Digimon are actual, living beings that exist in an alternate dimension and “…there could be a top secret government agency trying to stop monsters (digimon) from bioemerging.” Users of this site refer to themselves as Digimon Existence Theorists.

Ah, theorist sites. There are a million of them, and they’re all great. Everyone’s favorite, however, has got to be Time Cube 4ce. Here’s a direct quote: There is no human entity, just human Cubics – as in 4 different people in a 4 corner stage metamorphic rotation – never more than 1 corner at same time.” If that well of text intimidates you, The Men in the High Castle has snack-size examples of conspiracy theories that’ll help you procrastinate for days.

My favorite “deep web” sites, however, are the ones that are essentially interactive avant-garde pieces. Like Television without Context. Or StaggeringBeauty (click with caution, epileptics). I spent a good fifteen minutes exploring Alcyone oo, which is impressive considering years of internet abuse has left me with the attention span of an eggplant.

If you clicked the above links and are hungry for more, check out the subreddit /r/InternetIsBeautiful.

For now, I will leave you with this, another oldie that may have been missed by those of you who have real lives: