Wednesday, April 3, 2013

brave new world

The internet is a rapidly growing force in modern society.  This may seem like old news, but it continues to gain momentum, to permeate the human condition, and I think we're still just beginning to see its long-term effects.  Not only in this country, but in the world, even in tyrannical countries doing their best to keep it out.  As technology advances, it gets cheaper, easier, more available to everyone.  It grows more difficult to stop it, or ignore it.

While some may be worried about the effects this has on our privacy, I see a flipside to this unprecedented level of transparency it's creating.  We're seeing more and more corruption, for example, not because there is more of it going on, but rather, because its growing increasingly difficult to keep hidden.  Much of the internet may seem to be little more than a cesspool of rampant idiocy, not because it breeds it, but because we're hearing the voices of the most stupid among us like never before.

It is the lack of information exchange that stalls progress.  The places that are the most isolated are naturally the most ignorant.  As this conduit of super-communication reaches into even the most backwater corners, we become all too aware of just how ignorant they are - but so do they.   Maybe not at first, but these things take time.  Probably generations.

As the technology moves towards ever increasing accessibility, I wonder if there will soon be a time when we won't even need to go through an ISP.  The information is out there, all over the planet.  How long before it's so well integrated, that it's just there, for anyone anywhere to wirelessly plug into it?

This is the nature of humanity.   We've been getting better and better at communicating effectively, and this is just the latest leap in that direction.  This is the very heart of all human progress, and how we cooperate.  It is how truth is tested, how what works flourishes, and how failure is laid bare, and how we're able to learn from all of it.  The more efficient the process is, the more profound its effects become.  The internet is an extraordinary leap in that efficiency that I suspect may really be just getting started.

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