• A video portal between New York City and Dublin was shut down this week after "inappropriate" behavior and chaos.
  • The portal was a rare and pure instance of technology bringing joy and connection. 
  • We should have portals all over the globe.

The portal between New York City and Dublin — a giant video installation livestreaming between the two locations — has been shut down due to bad behavior.

This is terrible. The portal should reopen! In fact, we should have portals all over the country, all over the world — connecting two random places. We should have a portal between Miami and Tokyo, Florence and Dubai, Delhi and Stockholm. Currently, there's a portal between cities in Lithuania and Poland, but let's dream even bigger.

We live in a world where technology can feel menacing. We worry about what AI is doing to the information we consume, the art we see — and how it might degrade both. This week, OpenAI and Google debuted new ways to interact with AI. OpenAI's voice assistant drew comparisons to the movie "Her" in ways that were both flattering and dystopian.

But the portal is a case of technology that's just pure joy.

It's simple, there's nothing too deep to think about. It's not even "new" tech — video streaming between two locations is not exactly novel, although I suppose "it's really big" differentiates it from, say, FaceTime. The situation is what makes it different — video chatting technology is usually personal, used at home or in your office conference room. Putting it in a public space, with other strangers — that makes it fun and special.

It is pure and human to be curious about strangers in another country, to be excited about the idea of seeing someone else across the screen, knowing they can see you, too. It's fun. It's delightful.

Unfortunately, there was some bad behavior during the NYC-Dublin link-up. New Yorkers taunted the Dubliners with potatoes; a Dubliner held up a photo of 9/11. Someone in Dublin mooned the New Yorkers, and then there was the woman who flashed her breasts to the Dubliners. Not ideal (although not even necessarily illegal in NYC).

Besides, the flasher was a really specific case — she is a TikTok and OnlyFans influencer named Ava Louise who has also been involved in some other headline-grabbing scenarios, like licking a plane toilet seat during Covid, being involved with Addison Rae's father, spending a night with Antonio Brown before his mid-game retirement, and admitting to starting a rumor about Ye (formerly Kanye) West and Jeffree Starr dating, and appearing on the Dr. Phil show. Whew. Let's chalk this up to a highly unique case of one individual with a particular knack for spectacle rather than the portal being a temptation for constant flashings.

The portal was a magical thing — a rare public artwork with fun utility that reminded us of how technology can bring the world together in the simplest way. Sure, there was a little mayhem, but it's not worth shutting down the whole thing over.

We can't let a few potatoes or boobs take that joy from us!

Read the original article on Business Insider