Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The internet is not special

The world has changed, yet stayed the same. We still do all the same things we did 10, 20, 30 years ago, just faster and with different tools. We order pizza delivered online, but we could order pizza before the internet. We broadcast our thoughts to the world, but we could do that before Twitter. It's just that it took longer, was more expensive and nobody cared (most people still don't care, but high follower counts trick us into thinking they do). We have a global communications network, but so did the British Empire - it just ran on paper, horses and ships, with higher latency and lower volume.

What changes - fundamental changes, not just changes of magnitude and speed - has the internet really wrought? Those in power are still in power, those in poverty are still in poverty. Expertise is more accessible, but that's a change of magnitude and speed, not fundamentally different to pre-internet education.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I think, in a lot of ways, a lot of our modern technology is a change of degrees, not a fundamental shift.
PPS - Some of it is genuinely new, but the people side tends to stay about the same.

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