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I've decided to republish a post from the blog section here, because I'm regularly asked why I chose the name Disjointed Reality.

 

Twelve months after buying the domain www.disjointedreality.com I opened it up for everyone to see. Those who had tried typing the address into their web browser over the previous year would have seen a very basic web page with a picture of a Highland cow and a small amount of text, promising to post something better designed and slightly more meaningful.

Well, here it is.

So, why Disjointed Reality? What does that mean?

I've been asked on a number of occasions and perhaps not explained it particularly well. At least, I thought I knew in my own mind, but when the explanations came, they were confusing.

Hopefully I can now, finally, make a fair attempt at a precise definition.

I wasn't a particularly early adopter of the internet. As I recall, it was about 1996 when I first set up a dial-up account at home. I used to wait until after 6pm, when phone calls were a little less expensive, bring up the modem utility on my computer and click on the connect button. After a lot of buzzing, squeaking and purring, I was online. From there it was one eye on the screen and the other eye on the clock, knowing that every minute was costing money. With web pages taking minutes to load, especially pages rich in graphic content, time went by very quickly. By 6:30pm, I'd managed to see four, maybe five pages of interest and logged off quickly, thinking… "If I do this every day, my phone bill is going to be huge". It was a fascinating but frustrating experience.

I remember once discovering that there was an operating system update available for my computer and the only way of getting it was to download it from the Apple website. But, it was 80Mb and at about 5Mb an hour download speed over dial-up, that was going to take a long time and cost quite a lot too. Looking back, I think I may have been overly conscious about the cost.

Anyway, I decided to take a chance and started at exactly 6pm the next day. At least it was possible to stop mid-download and continue the next day from the same point. I'd managed to download about 60Mb over the next week, I was feeling confident and was looking forward to the new features promised in the upgrade. The next evening I clicked on the resume download button and nothing happened. Then the progress bar returned to the start and I saw it begin again. 12K, 24K, 48K, 96K… There was quite a lot of cursing that night.

Through all the frustrations, there was a huge sense of mystery and excitement about the internet then. It really felt like a great adventure, going "online".

 

An online presence is now very much a part of our lives. It can take many forms and each person's experience will be very different. With mobile computing now being far more prevalent, and the availability of high speed wireless connectivity almost everywhere we go, we drift in and out of this online state throughout the day, almost without thinking. Yet going "online" is still like passing through a door into an alternate world or reality, where the ability to learn, to communicate to experience, takes on a whole new scale.

We jump from Facebook to Twitter to Wikipedia, to Google to YouTube, to Skype, to instant message clients to virtual worlds, like Second Life, InWorldz and 3rd Rock, with ease; adapting to the range of social interactions with friends, family and complete strangers. We make new friends and acquaintances as we begin to assimilate all the myriad, disparate applications in this strange, yet now quite familiar alternate reality.

With Disjointed Reality, I'm hoping to bring together the many, disjointed parts of my alternate reality, into the one place.

Primarily the site contains my blog, but over time, I'm looking forward to sharing a wider range of the things that interest and inspire me.

 

I suspect there will still be some confusion.