Saturday, December 18, 2010

Week 11 EOC: The future of the internet

Behind every great invention is the inventor known for thinking outside the box. The person who doesn't accept things for the way they are, but sees things the way they could be. Steven Jobs is known as the inventor of Apple computers, more specifically the personal computer. He started the revolution that has lead to each of us being able to carry a computer anywhere with us in the palm of our hand. Although Steven Jobs did not have a clear vision of exactly what would come of his ideas and inventions, he knew that he was doing something that had never before been done. He knew he had million dollar ideas that would lead to world wide innovation. "Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do." (Steve Jobs)

The future of the internet is more than any of us will ever image or fathom. It is the future of the world. Take a look at our the worlds history. Go back to the dawn of human civilization. For thousands of years our technological advances remained stagnant. It wasn't until the last 200 years or so that we really started industrializing and making major technological changes. This is all due to the invention of things like the personal computer and the internet. They have launched our advancement as humans into hyper speed. We are now cruising at full speed and there will be no stopping tomorrow.

The futurist Alvin Toffler wrote a book in 1970 that scared some, and motivated others. He presented many interesting concepts about the next 3 decades that no one had considered or imagined possible.
"He anticipated, long in advance, today’s computer revolution, as well as cloning, the fragmentation of the family, cable television, VCRs, satellites, customized products, the speed-up of daily life, niche markets, virtual agents and the rise of the "knowledge economy." (
His main thesis however, couldn't have been more wrong. "In three short decades between now and the turn of the next millennium, millions of psychologically normal people will experience an abrupt collision with the future. Affluent, educated citizens of the world’s richest and most technically advanced nations, they will fall victim to tomorrow’s most menacing malady: the disease of change. Unable to keep up with the supercharged pace of change, brought to the edge of breakdown by incessant demands to adapt to novelty, many will plunge into future shock. For them the future will have arrived too soon." (
40 years after Toffler published his work, we look back and read this thesis and can't help but laugh. Yes, technology and society has changed dramatically and at faster and faster speeds. But today's society is most certainly not suffering from these quick changes and technological advances. Yes, human kind is changing the way they behave, interact, and live but this is not what I call "future shock". I call this survival.

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