Addict (drugaddict) wrote,
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The future of the Internet lies not with institutions but with individuals

Technophobic refuseniks are likely to carry out violent resistance, and they may have good reason: Out-of-control technology is a distinct risk

Today is de facto Bruce Sterling Day  (link to previous post). In his latest Wired column, he says "futurism has no future," and digs into the results of a recent Pew Internet & American Life Project survey. He writes:

 




















The bubble-era vision of a utopian Internet is dented and dirty. The Pew respondents seem to agree that personal privacy is a thing of the past, and they're split nearly 50-50 on whether the costs will outweigh the benefits. Technophobic refuseniks are likely to carry out violent resistance, and they may have good reason: Out-of-control technology is a distinct risk. The Lexus has collided with the olive tree, and its crumpled hulk spins in a ditch as the orchard smolders.

The future of the Internet lies not with institutions but with individuals. Low-cost connections will proliferate, encouraging creativity, collaboration, and telecommuting. The Net itself will recede into the background. If you're under 21, you likely don't care much about any supposed difference between virtual and actual, online and off. That's because the two realms are penetrating each other; Google Earth mingles with Google Maps, and daily life shows up on Flickr. Like the real world, the Net will be increasingly international and decreasingly reliant on English. It will be wrapped in a Chinese kung fu outfit, intoned in an Indian accent, oozing Brazilian sex appeal.

Link to "My Final Prediction." Image: I shot this portrait of Mr. Sterling a couple years ago in LA.

posted by Xeni Jardin

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