now reading: the internet is not what you think it is
"It was just as common from antiquity through the modern period to envision nature not as pervaded by an ether, but so to speak as a wired or connected network, which is to say as a true and proper web: a system of hidden filaments or threads that bind all things. Such a system is instanced paradigmatically in what is perhaps the original web, the one woven by the spider. The spider's web may be properly --which is to say not only metaphorically-- considered as the locus of its extended cognition. Its nerves do not extend into the filaments it spreads out from its body, but it is evolved to apprehend vibrations in these filaments as a fundamental dimension of its sensory experience. The spider's sensation is not “enhanced” by the vibrations it receives from the web, any more than my hearing is enhanced by the presence of a cochlea in my inner ear. Perceiving through a web is simply what it is to perceive the world as a spider (or at least as a member of one of the many spider species that spend a good part of their lives in webs of their own spinning).
We ordinarily imagine that our own webs of wires are enhancements, and not intrinsic to what it is to perceive as a human, to what it is to be a human, since they did not emerge together with the human species, but are only a much more recent addition to the repertoire of the species. The web of a spider is a species-specific and species-defining feature of the spider, while the internet, we usually suppose, is a superaddition to the human."