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By B.L. Ochman

This video is Mashable’s keynote from South By Southwest, explaining their view of the state of the internet today. It chronicles the Internet from its beginning in 1969 as ARPANET, a network of 19 government computers, to today’s “most powerful communication tool humanity has ever seen.”

The Internet’s future? Mashable speculates that it could be mind-bending (literally) or “maybe we’ll just print 3-D emoticons and cat holograms,” concluding “The Future Looks Terrible.”

Mashable’s conclusion is depressing. Maybe they’re depressed by the fact that Grumpy Cat has so far been the biggest sensation of SXSW, the annual Austin spring break for 27,000 geeks. I’m with Mike Isaac at All Things D: “Free Grumpy Cat”.

I don’t care what anyone says — and Buzzfeed says even the crazies at PETA say Grumpy’s OK — no cat likes having his picture taken with a few thousand people. My cat, Nonster, would have sent a few people to the hospital by now if they tried to handle him.

Many mainstream media observers (notorious Internet critics) agree that there has not been a big game changer at this year’s SXSW, where Twitter and Foursquare starred in other years. 3D printing has been a huge sensation this year, but nothing has been bigger than Grumpy Cat.

As the show winds down, look for a stream of “Internet is Dead” headlines. Sigh.

Bonus Link:
- A Digital Buzz Infographic details what happens in 24 hours on the Internet. The numbers are dizzying!
- Francine Hardaway “Innovative Highlights from SXSW”