The Internet is a funny thing. Anyone that’s ever gone down a Wikipedia hole realizes that, pretty soon, that one thing you needed to look up can turn into a two-hour deep dive into barely-related topics.
It’s also weird. There’s so much content—so much that we can’t really quantify it—you’re bound to stumble upon something interesting. It is, perhaps, a sad commentary of the human condition that, given unlimited access to information and knowledge, we use the Internet primarily for mundane purposes, and frequent the same dozen websites everyday.
Of course, that’s also the problem of abundance. People can’t handle that many choices, and there are only so many spare hours to cram in unorganized knowledge.
That’s how I came to stumble upon the topic of today’s post, thalassocracy, or “rule by the sea.” I recently purchased a very nerdy space exploration strategy game called Stellaris (itself a recommendation from a member of Milo’s Telegram chat). Stellaris has a steep learning curve, so it’s a game that basically requires the player to do homework to figure out what they’re doing (my race of peaceful, space-faring platypus people has surely suffered from my ignorance).
That homework assignment (no, seriously, it’s a fun game!) sent me down a rabbit hole on the game’s wiki, and one of the in-game events involves a group called the Bemat Thalassocracy. I’d never heard the term before, and searched out its meaning. That brought me to a website called Friesian, which is apparently a site promoting the philosophy of Jakob Friederich Fries, an eighteenth-century philosopher opposed to that ponderous windbag Hegel. The website dates back to 1996, when it began as a community college website.