Kafka toiled in obscurity and died penniless. If only he'd had a website.
How much creative talent went unread, unseen, unheard before the internet? Mass media in the form of television and print can now make celebrities of individuals who have no discernable artistic qualities.
The internet allows anyone with a blog to share their personal opinions with everyone. Whilst Kafka only achieved notoriety after his death, his theme of an authoritarian world where individual freedom was quashed could not be more alien to the reality of the web.
We might be manipulated by the instruments of government using unfathomable means but we have at our disposal the wherewithal to express ourselves whether as citizen journalists or simply placing our original works online. The internet has slain obscurity.
The defeat of subjugation of d issident literature or imagery can only be a good thing of course, but amid the limitless content which resides on servers across the globe, artistic effort by people who could be the next creative giant is probably rare.
The very existence of the internet then allows the amateur and the expert to share the same space. We are all empowered by the box probably sitting in front of you right now.
But has the net alone yet produced a unique talent? It could. Every time a technology evolves, it opens the door for that rare talent to find expression. Mozart had the technology of the piano. Hitchcock, the medium of film.
Internet entrepreneurs have made possible a host of facilities online which millions use.
However, what I refer to is the ability to create that which could only be possible because the internet lives but which would give its creator the same place in artistic history as Picasso or Michelangelo, Dickens or Beethoven.
The internet can allow us all to see and read the great works of others on screen. Why can't it permit the creation of something which can only be acted upon, seen or influenced by its dynamics. The thing which shapes our consciousness.
To a point it already does move millions.
However, usually an issue or political ideology for example, whilst achieving vast dissemination is diminished in its force by virtue of the fact that it is distributed by the internet. If it has spread via the web it is probably outlandish. The charge is almost always correct.
So after a full ten years of the internet pervading our lives will a Mozart 2.0 live online in the next decade? Could genius only come to the fore because of internet protocol?
In every age imagination shifts the poles and lightly changes the mood of men and the world's career. Why would the digital age be an exception?
* Andrew Sparrow is founder and principal lawyer at Lecote Solicitors, the internet, new media, IT and telecoms lawyers. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org