I woke up this morning wondering what the Internet sounds like.

I started with an Orchestra. The mainstream media are the massed strings playing basically the same melody. The weblogs and private news sites in the woodwind section play a counterpoint. The tech sites in the brass section keep butting in. The analysts are playing the timpani and keep trying to change the tune.

What's strange about the music is that although it plays continuously, musicians keep coming and going. Through the day, the whole orchestra changes as daylight circles the globe. At 6pm GMT it's almost exclusively Californian, but at 6am, it's a glorious mishmash of US nightbirds, Australians and European early risers. At the weekends it plays sotto voce and takes on a more left field, jazzy feel.

Curiously, there are several orchestras playing in adjacent halls, but they can hardly hear each other. Just occasionally somebody opens an adjoining door and a burst of foreign sounds (Samba, Gamelan, The Marseilles or an Oompah Band) breaks through.

But I can't hear a heart beat.

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[ 20-Feb-02 11:02am ]