Click Here For Your Nobel Peace Prize

(originally posted on Monday, March 15, 2010)

If you thought President Obama’s Nobel award was worthy of at least an eyebrow raise, then start paying attention to this year’s selection process right now. The Nobel Peace Prize committee in Norway is actually considering The Internet worthy of this prestigious and historic award.

Well, why not?

The Internet is known for many things. Some good: like e-commerce email, social media, and the expansion of human communications in general. Some bad: like hate groups, spam, cyber-stalking and other abuse.

But there is a case to be made that The Internet has made our lives better. Communications options between people are more abundant. The sharing of ideas between people is more efficient, and dynamic. And human expression has an entirely new portal of display, distribution, and data analytics.

People did not exist or live this way just 20 years ago. Even Hip Hop is older than The Internet in terms of its effect on human culture. But why the Nobel Peace Prize, as opposed to say, one of Dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel’s five other prizes?

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to the person or society that renders the greatest service to the cause of international fraternity, in the suppression or reduction of standing armies, or in the establishment or furtherance of peace congresses.

The Internet is arguably all of these things. Social Media has no doubt increased fraternity, viral communications have exposed injustice and military corruption, and the plethora of information available throughout the web has provided the basis for healthy debate on how to bring nations and peoples together for peace. As The Internet expands its reach, it brings us all a little closer, and allows people to speak up more and be heard. Has it created world peace? No, but The Internet is responsible for mankind understanding itself better and what makes us all a little different from each other.

The Internet For Peace Group, the group that nominated The Internet for the Nobel Peace Prize, states that, “Contact with others has always been the most effective antidote against hatred and conflict. That’s why the Internet is a tool for peace. That’s why anyone who uses it can sow the seeds of non-violence. And that’s why the next Nobel Peace Prize should go to the Net,” the group wrote on its web site.

Sounds like a reasonable nomination. However, perhaps The Internet is more deserving of this recognition because of its ability to create peace on a smaller, more personal level. If you’ve ever had a maddening day and don’t know how to break the cycle of anger and frustration, just click this link and bookmark the “Instant Rimshot” to your browser: It instantly turns any peace disturbance into a stand-up comedy act, and is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and de-pressurize any situation before it turns into a global disturbance.

Instant Rimshot is just one of the many wonderful things you’ll find on the World Wide Web, and one reason why we back the bid to award The Nobel Peace Prize to The Internet.