Although I have great difficulty with modern search engines, I have to admit the Internet really is altering the manner in which people interact and share information. I know that over the past few years the Internet has had a dramatic impact upon how I think and how I learn.
For me it comes down to the notion that two minds aren’t just twice as powerful as a single mind, but rather exponentially more powerful. Millions of minds sharing information in that context will slowly change the face of human existence. That’s a wonderful thing. But such power brings new understandings – which cause people to have new questions. And questions are a source of fear for those in power; that’s why through the ages there has always been book burning, and even people burning.
Perhaps the greatest thing about the Internet is that it came from out of nowhere, and no one was expecting it to become the civilization altering power that it has become. That lack of awareness alone is what has allowed the Internet to evolve into it’s current form – although many large groups are trying to retrofit the Internet to be something less than useless.
“The nation’s largest telephone and cable companies — including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner — want to be Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow and which won’t load at all.
They want to tax content providers to guarantee speedy delivery of their data. They want to discriminate in favor of their own search engines, Internet phone services, and streaming video — while slowing down or blocking their competitors.
These companies have a new vision for the Internet. Instead of an even playing field, they want to reserve express lanes for their own content and services — or those from big corporations that can afford the steep tolls — and leave the rest of us on a winding dirt road.
The big phone and cable companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to gut Net Neutrality, putting the future of the Internet at risk.”
Not a vision I want to have of the future.
As I see it, this is about far more than economic competition! It will break what is fast becoming a new step in human evolution; physical networked consciousness – through the use of a technological medium. And that’s not something which should be controlled in anyway whatsoever.
If the Internet comes under such regulation, perhaps many people will fall back to the old bulletin boards technology and direct computer-to-computer access through modems. Or perhaps that too would become illegal or a domestic terrorist threat?
Negative vision of the future aside, human awareness will eventually change in one way or another. Knowledge can’t be hidden forever.
Here’s a great vision that highlights where the Internet is heading. It’s in a different context to what I am talking about here – but the principles of networked consciousness are there to see if you are looking: