Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Evil. Pure evil. Muahahahaha. Sarah Lacy on Linkedin asked the question, "Is the Internet an inherently good force in the world, evil force or neither? The other day I overheard a guy saying he thought the Internet should be banned. I gasped and asked why and he said he thought it had not only done nothing to help humanity, it had actually set us back. what do you think? "

Well Sarah, here is what I think. A medium of communication is no more good or evil than a mirror is beautiful or ugly. It is a tool, and the ends to which it is manipulated reflects the purposes of the user. The Internet is used by many people for many different things.

I would venture that the most profound effects have been; 1) an increase in the rate of dissemination of information, 2) a decrease in the cost of research, and 3) a decrease in the difficulty of organizing people.

After at least 40,000 years of human culture we have only been able to use electronic communications for about a hundred. I seriously doubt that we were close to a societal equilibrium from the technological changes telephone and radio introduced even before the Internet came along. Many of the global sociopolitical changes that we talk about today were already happening before the Internet gained wide acceptance.

The long and short of it? Too damned early to say. It would be like saying that it will be a bad market day after the first trade of the opening bell.

2 comments:

Jimmy said...

Porn. Need more be said (or viewed?)

Adam said...

So if saying the Internet is good is like saying a mirror is good, and if you think the Internet is porn...then you must be saying that;
1. porn is good, and
2. porn is like a mirror.

If you involve mirrors in your pornacious activities I don't want to hear any details buddy.