The Future of the Internet Might Hinge on This Bet

from Medium

Humans are driven by metaphors. We can’t help it. “Internet access is like electricity,” we say, and that leads to a host of other mental images: standard plugs for a wealth of devices, warm light against a dark frozen landscape, the burdens of life made more bearable. The warring metaphor now is “the Internet is the new TV,” thoroughly managed, channelized, bent on entertainment, ad-driven, interactive only when it suits someone’s business plan. Both of these metaphors are limited and not quite right. That’s the way metaphors work.

But we are in fact ants on a wrinkle of history, trundling across a vast transforming landscape that we can’t see on our own.

We’re in an important moment at the beginning of the beginning of the Internet. The opportunities presented by a phase change in informational capacity?—?what’s possible with fiber optic lines?—?and inclusive, ubiquitous connectivity are dazzling: genuine presence in other peoples’ lives, an additional layer to existence that augments and deepens human capacity for compassion and connection, a rich addition to sight. Think avatars, holodecks, and interactivity across every surface, and then multiply.

More here.

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24 Responses to The Future of the Internet Might Hinge on This Bet

  1. Gustavo Gonzalez February 19, 2015 at 2:46 pm #

    This article by, Susan Crawford was an eye opener for me when it comes to the impact of the internet in our lives, history, and business. She starts off stating how humans use metaphors for almost anything we can. The first metaphor she uses is to compare the internet to television. “The Internet is the new TV,” is she states, in the sense that they share qualities such as entertainment, advertisements, and calling for user interactivity when it can generate a profit. The point if this article is to give the reader an idea of how young the internet really is and how the possibilities for growth are unfathomable. Meaning that the way we use the internet today is going to be completely primitive to the way we can possibly use it twenty years from now.

    The idea of the “internet of things” has been around for a couple of years now, and is a matter of time before it becomes a common household thought. Susan helps her readers get an idea of just how young the internet is, she writes; “but we are in fact ants on a wrinkle of history, trundling across a vast transforming landscape that we can’t see on our own.” She again argues the fact that the Internet and the opportunities it may present, are beyond comprehension and will bring the world closer. I am in complete agreement to this idea, we have already commenced a dramatic move towards globalization. The internet will allow for better relations between people from across the globe that one day it will not matter where one lives in the world.

    Crawford also states some very good arguments on how this development of the internet can present new challenges along with these new opportunities. One of the dangers that comes with the progression of the “Internet of everything” would be the simple fact that the Internet and its programs maybe hacked and important information may be stolen. No matter how advanced the antivirus and security systems for computers get, there will be the equivalent progression of new technologies to get around these programs. Now, consider the fact that if your house is connected to the internet, and say someone wish to do harm to you, with the right hacking techniques they may easily do so. Apart from this dreadful idea, there is the threat of being observed to collect any data malignant people may use against you.

    Due to all threats that come along with the progression of the Internet, there have been the formations of committees and foundations. Susan states how “The foundations are being asked to focus on protecting civil liberties, guaranteeing net neutrality, and investing in a hypothetical Association of Internet Users to be a ground-up public policy voice on U.S. Internet issues.” The foundations that are involved in making sure that this new “Internet of things” does not lead to the exploitation of future Internet users. The end goal of the foundations is to achieve a sustainable and successful future for the internet.

  2. Joshua Cohen February 19, 2015 at 9:25 pm #

    My first impression of this article is that Susan was simply comparing the Internet and television. When i read her first metaphor, “the Internet is the new TV” it seemed like she was pointing out the similarities. There are many similarities between the two, whether its entertainment, making money, helps with advertisements and others. Even with all of those similarities, she was headed towards a different message. Susan is saying even with all the evolutions with the internet, it is still young.

    Susan helps to make her point about the internet being young by saying “but we are in fact ants on a wrinkle of history, trundling across a vast transforming landscape that we can’t see on our own.” By that she means even with everything that has been invented with the internet there is still so much more that can be offered. This is not just for entertainment, but it can also help businesses make money. The investments different company’s can make with the new technology that will eventually be available is astronomical.

    Susan also does a great job pointing out that with the new challenges comes new opportunities. One of the challenges that can happen are hacks. With all of the new technology that will be invented will be more ways to get through security and hack computers. It can get even worse than that because if the Internet is connected to your house these hackers can physically harm you. Even with all these threats, Susan points out that safety is a priority when she says “The foundations are being asked to focus on protecting civil liberties, guaranteeing net neutrality, and investing in a hypothetical Association of Internet Users to be a ground-up public policy voice on U.S. Internet issues.” With all of this new technology coming in, there may be some threats and danger, but plenty to be excited about.

    • Cedric Kabore April 22, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

      This article is definitely attempting to compare the internet and television. In fact she is saying that the internet is still young because in a certain way the internet has no limit. We do not really no where it can bring us. Nowadays we feel that we are at the apex of what it can do but it is just the beginning. Talk about television and the youth culture I would say that the internet killed some TV programs that were cool back in the days. For example the internet decreased the importance of MTV in the youth culture. Now instead of watching MTV programs teenagers are lurking on social media. In addition the internet has a big influence in the pop culture nowadays. It is really fascinating to see that nowadays upcoming artist do not need television to get known. Also big stars do not need to go often on television to promote their work, they interact directly on social media with their fans around the globe. In fact the internet open many possibilities. The world does not seem that big anymore. We are all connected around the world through the internet. The question is now how much longer will the television survive? I sincerely think that one day traditional television will disappear letting place to a new one through the internet.

  3. Thomas Guglielmo February 19, 2015 at 11:25 pm #

    The present internet status regarding connectivity and phone calls really bothers me. Every time I am on the phone with my Uncle we end up discussing the terrible clarity of conversation due to the muffled sound cellphones put on a persons voice. Reading this article made me happy because it addresses that our world is becoming a center for, “human compassion and connection,” and notes that there needs to be improvements if this is to be sustained. These improvements are being made by companies such as Ford, Mozilla, and Macarthur, who recognize that for all people to have access to the opportunities made available from internet access, changes must be made.

    The concept of investing in an association of Internet Users to be a public policy voice on U.S. Internet issues? is something I am ecstatic about. This would solve so many problems on the internet such as illegal videos being posted to sites such as Reddit, stopping illicit websites like silk road from becoming million dollar marketplaces, and warning people to further investigate the credibility of sources they are viewing.

  4. Alfred Valli February 20, 2015 at 12:44 am #

    This article speaks to the impact the internet has had on our society in just the few years it has been around. The internet as we now know it has only developed to be like this pretty recently and has only really been around for twenty or so years. This article really goes to show that even thought the internet is such a young thing and still very new but has come so far already in only a short time. And the growing use and popularity of the internet has shown a lot of light on the topic, and with all the growing use and expansion of the internet’s boundaries we are needing more information and are needing new and better ways of operating and advancing it.

    The comparison that the author makes when they say that the internet is like the new TV is very accurate. They operate in a lot of the same ways and have many of the same ways of making money and promoting it. The author writes “thoroughly managed, channelized, bent on entertainment, ad-driven, interactive only when it suits someone’s business plan.” This really goes to show that they are similar but we are staring to notice the differences the internet has that show that this example just does not fit and through the article they narrow down the real best metaphor that truly embodies what the internet has become.

    The new initiative talked about here will lead to a lot of new and better things for the internet. They are going to fund research and projects to help identify the real ideas and working behind what makes the internet such a useful tool and will help revolutionize the way the internet works and how we use it. This initiative can and will change the way we use the internet and with all the new and advancing technology we will see dramatic advancements not in the future but we will see changes very soon.

  5. Zack Lisanti February 20, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

    This article says a lot of what needs to be said in terms of how the internet is currently moving. Lots of potential, but the fact is that we have not even scratched the surface yet. The internet is still a very new idea and concept. It has moved faster than that of any other idea in recent memory, but it is in it’s infancy. The end of the article talked of hope and potential, because of all the funding, research, and projects that were going to be put into action. This type of work is needed for the Internet, it cannot grow on it’s own.

    • Zack Lisanti February 20, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

      (I accidentally submitted this comment, I was outside the textbox and hit enter to start a new paragraph and it submitted the comment. I will continue here.)

      The point that stood out to me, that is astounding is that not everyone in America has the internet. At this point many people including myself figured it to be like electricity. Everyone has it, and if you do not, you most likely do not have a house. This got me to thinking about the extent of work that has to be done to lay cable for these connections. Miles and miles of cable must be laid, along with the mass amounts of excavation. Now on the flip side of that, the extreme upgrade you recive from moving to Fiber Optic cable is massive, so the laying of those cables is something that would be worth the effort. Verizon Fios, is fiber cables and they produce much faster speeds than any of the other cable companies. Google has been doing test cities for its fiber optic connection in cities like Kansas City and Austin. These speeds are a gigabit per second, which blows every other service right now out of the water. If everyone in the country was on a connection that fast, it would be pretty amazing what could be done online. The streaming of Full 1080p HD video would be simple, whilst you could venture into streaming 1440p or even 4k and above. This would put services like Netflix, Hulu and HBOgo into the forefront of video entertainment.

      This opens up into the next thing mentioned, that ‘Internet is the new TV’. Which right now I would say is not entirely true, but defiantly more so than in the past. Most Millennials nowadays watch mostly these streaming services as their main video entertainment. I can say that I am in this category. But that being said, I always find myself back to TV when it comes to sports. The fact is that the big TV companies need to shift their entertainment online. The ad revenue is still open online, but the new medium needs to be taken in.

      In conclusion, the best thing for the internet right now is for people to focus on it, and have companies throw money at it to improve the experience. With funding, research and projects, the potential in the Internet is truly limitless. That is indeed a interesting business opportunity.

  6. Shelby Brown February 20, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

    The metaphors used at the beginning of this article help to give a sense of exactly how important the internet is to American society today and how the view it. These metaphors compare the internet to electricity, which is a very significant and necessary part of most people’s daily life. This conveys how important the internet is becoming in everyone’s life, but what is more important than that is how we will deal with the “extraordinary challenges: that this article mentions. The internet is still just beginning and there are so many changes and adaptations that will occur throughout the years.

    This article speaks of all of the people who are getting together to decide how to handle all of the struggles that will derive from the constant innovation of the internet. This group is trying to plan ways in which they can protect rights such as civil liberties and net neutrality. Their plan, to have people who have formerly made huge amounts of money from the internet invest back in it, is quite a good one when you consider the fact that these people already know just how important and helpful the internet can be.

    This article is really an eye opener, for someone such as me, because it shows that the internet is obviously something that needs to be invested in and needs serious work. I personally would never have guessed that this is such an issue or that people would be taking such huge steps, such as the US foundations getting together to help plan to protect users as the internet expands. It’s definitely interesting to hear about how the internet has such vast challenges and opportunities for the future.

  7. Cameron Quisenberry February 20, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

    Thinking about the future is one of the things I do not do every day. I like to live in the moment, but when an article such as this expands my view on a subject I have no oppositions to it. The internet is one of the most essential ‘necessities’ that people believe they need in today’s world. People can get internet access, go to a google page, and type in any question that s/he might have at that point in time. If the internet was not around for us to utilize to our advantage, our lives would be significantly less convenient.

    I thought this article was very well written, and exemplifies many different important points. The sentence that made me think about the severity of influence the Internet has on us was when the author said, “What if the Internet really is the new TV, and that TV is watching us?” I have been introduced to the dilemma of how the Internet is not very private in some cases. Google is the most popular website to visit for the majority of Internet users. However, in their terms and conditions, Google claims that they can use your previous searches in order to advertise certain companies that might “apply to you”. (Or something along those lines) For example, I have used Google right after I was on Amazon – the worlds sixth most visited site according to the Alexa rank – and the item I searched for on amazon, popped up on Google. Now, with more people getting smarter and smarter about technology and how to use it, if someone had the motivation and the drive to get information from the Internet about myself, s/he could easily do it because I am not protected enough. Hackers can easily access previous transactions, emails, and Internet visits if they really wanted to. People, including myself, are not keeping up with privacy and security like they could be. People use the excuse, “I’m not tech savvy” to use as a shield to the reality that could be. However, there are certain ways that we can protect ourselves a little better than the existing security measures. Encryption is a big key in having peace of mind that your emails are not being traced (allegedly). The only bad part is, finding out how to privatize ourselves is not going to come easily. We have to be willing to put in the effort in order to save ourselves from the wrong people.

  8. Robert Morrison February 20, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

    I think the ideas presented in this article about the future of the internet show that people are beginning to realize some of the issues our rapidly changing and growing internet are having. Every day there is new changes added to the internet, and these advances bring a lot of good to our day to day lives, and can even revolutionize the way we live our lives. But just as the addition of electricity to homes in America brought much good, it took the invention of the transformers and DC current to make it a safely applicable appliance.

    Therefore philanthropic agencies work with researching how to make the internet a safer place is something that could allow many of the changes brought by new innovations in the internet to be applied in our day to day lives. With all the recent hacking and cyber attacks people have experienced in the past months and years, the internet has shows that it can be just as dangerous as it is helpful, and that there are many things that must be fixed before we move forward with innovation. Therefore this additional research along with the new steps forward we will make in internet technology will allow the internet to become as crucial in our lives as the very electricity that powers it.

  9. Caroline Strickland February 20, 2015 at 8:31 pm #

    The beginning of this article contains a point most people—myself most definitely included—normally don’t think about. In the absence of a topic onto which we can latch comfortably, humans will commonly compare the unknown to something known thouroughly. It provides comfort in what we consider the dark unknown and unknowable. For example, a common example is the “screaming, howling” wind that is gusting outside our window. Since we don’t know what the storm is doing, we assign an emotion and a connotation to something we don’t quite get, and while I think the author is right that metaphors never quite cover the whole story, I think that something else is missing. I think that the whole power of the unknown word—the reason why we need to assign it some sort of meaning in the first place—vanishes. The screaming of the wind captures our nerves and the sound. However, where does it mention the destructive powers that wind contains?
    Now, I think I’ve spent enough time expounding on the weakness of metaphors that I can draw a parallel between the misnamed wind and the underestimated internet. In calling it comparable to electricity, we’ve failed to take into account the vast amounts of information it carries with it—its power. But in calling it similar to television, we forget that it should not be restrained for the very reason it has power. The power of the internet explodes in many areas of society, but the one thing that we as a public cannot let happen is to let the power of the internet be harnessed by the people who would use it to create even greater divides within our society. While it’s heartening that some of the big spenders in the corporate world have started to band together, that’s just the call to action. Step one is calling for a change. Step two is action. Step three is change. We can’t sit back and hope that someone earns the second and third steps for us. However, I feel we may be in danger of that.

  10. Christopher Fowlkes February 20, 2015 at 8:59 pm #

    The internet is growing in uses everyday. One of them is taking over TV, in its own unique way. The internet is unknown because its use may change daily. We can watch TV, listen to music, watch videos, read. Unfortunately, the internet has many issues of its own. There are hackers, people who provide it, things that shouldn’t be on it, control. The internet is very unsafe since no one has real control of it. The companies idea of making the internet safer is a hopeful one that we need. The problem is, where can they start.

    The metaphor for the movement shows that the businesses have no idea where they will be taken. Also, since the internet is relatively new, it can change very quickly in a few years. Similar to how it turned into many peoples way to watch TV. If we can find ways to guide how the internet grows, we can protect many people down the road. The internet is something that needs guidance so as long as these companies do the right thing, it should be alright.

  11. Guillermo Garcia February 20, 2015 at 9:39 pm #

    I think this article was very foward, in bringing the importance of the internet and how we must act from this point on. At this stage we are going through alot with the internet and where we will go, we are at a cross roads. With the major ISP’s trying to achieve a closed, limited and regulated Internet things are looking unsure at this point. The internet as we have come to notice has become a main stay in our daily life. We use it for almost everything and anything.
    Susan Crawford used the metaphor “internet is the new TV” and it it’s true with services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus etc. we can watch movies or TV shows. With youtube we can watch old shows, tutorials on virtually anything. We can go on a news broadcasters website and watch the news from the day on the website.
    The Internet has become so large and capable and we use it so vastly, its only right we take the steps foward to keep it great and useful as it is today, and that we not allow major ISP’s to take us steps backwards, with a thing so great such as the Internet, that has made things such as communication across the globe so much better.

  12. Manon Pellet February 21, 2015 at 12:26 am #

    This article written by Susan Crawford is a good reminder of the impact of the internet on our society. She first uses a metaphor comparing TV with the Internet, saying that the Internet is the new TV. In fact there are similar as they both are channelized, entertaining, ad-driven and interactive generating profit. What our generation have the tendency to forget is that “we are in fact ants on a wrinkle of history, trundling across a vast transforming landscape that we can’t see on our own,” pointing that the Internet is relatively new and its growth seems like having no limits, which is why it is important to start regulating it.

    The Internet is an enormous source of opportunities, possibilities and growth but Crawford points out that we are in an “important moment at the beginning of the beginning of the Internet,” meaning that with such opportunities comes very high challenges. Many questions are raised, but according to Crawford the biggest challenge of all is that there is a risk of creating two Americas, “one that exults in whatever we end up calling the Internet of things, and another that remains on a non-interactive plane.”

    Crawford states that this past week marks a milestone in the work going on in America on the Internet policy gap-filling front. Internet policies are taking very seriously by a large group of U.S. foundations that are coming together such as the presidents of Knight, Ford, Mozilla, MacArthur and Open Society. Not only they already spend cumulatively $50 million annually, they recently pledge new commitments to support novel ideas and finance research. It represents a big effort from these foundations but this article really succeeds in showing us how important those steps are to maintain the Internet as safe as possible.

    This article made me realize many things. Surprisingly, this is the first time I thought of the Internet as a new thing. It is hard to imagine what we will be able to do with such a tool in a few decades or even less. It is exciting and frightening at the same time because as Crawford says, opportunities come with challenges. Many questions are raised about what we can do to regulate such a fast growing tool. But one thing that I now understand better thanks to this article is that, “we are in a battle for the future of the Internet.”

  13. Hsinder February 22, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

    Internet has become a basic necessity for survival now days. I cannot even imagine living a day without internet and the fact that I will be out of touch from rest of the world .This high dependency on Internet for interacting sometimes make me think that may be soon there will be no one on one human interaction and people will only interact to each other on social networking websites . This thought is very disturbing because when we talk to each other in person then one person feels and understands another person’s excitement, feelings, and a bond of togetherness is developed which can never happen while interacting on social websites.
    Internet has made humans life easier by giving the ease to access anything they want such as information , shopping , connectivity and they can get all this any moment we want .I also think that eCommerce and the availability of different companies product and their prices has given more bargaining power to the consumers because now we can compare for prices online at the same time while we are trying to make the purchase for the item in a store .Internet has really revolutionized our lives and have made everything instant just like wish and get .
    Even with all the benefit that internet has brought to our life there are still some concerns to the use of internet. I think the most important is the security and access. We all share our personal information on social websites but we still don’t control who is going to access that information and not just that but these social websites use our information’s to make money by selling it to the business world who use it to form marketing strategy . I think there is still a lot to improve with the internet and make it an experienced one with fewer flaws and more benefits.

  14. Greg Spro February 23, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

    I think the article by Susan really opened up my mind to a new way in thinking about the internet. The internet right now is still in its early stages with endless possibilities for the future, giving the internet the ability to be way bigger than anyone could have ever imagined. I do like in the beginning in the article how the author using the metaphor that the internet is like TV because I do agree that the metaphor is a very old way too look at the internet. Since the internet is more revolutionary when virtually anyone can exchange information with each other but the T.V. on the other hand only shows information that the network decides to show. These are slightly similar in the fact they are very advertisement driven and information can be shared with people across the globe. I actually think that the internet being like electricity metaphor is a better comparison because both of these revolutionary discoveries completely changed the way our society operates.

    I think the author made a great point by discussing that the internet has grown to be so entrenched in our society that unified rules and regulations have to start being implemented. I think the exponential growth of internet has put our society at a major crossroads. These crossroads are if the correct polices are put into place and money is spent in the right places, the internet could help society reach new heights. On the flip side if the correct polices are not put into place the internet can be very destructive and lead to more problems that we can imagine. One big source of these problems is from Social Networking sites. All of the information on social networking sites can be given out freely; this makes standard protocols something that has to be established. As the internet gets more entrenched in our society policies will have to be constantly revaluated in order to keep up. Without established rules and regulations, many people are going to take advantage of the opportunities the internet creates. I think the “NetGain Challenges” initiative that the author mentions is the perfect way to find out exactly what part of the internet should money is spent on.

    If the internet is like an information highway, then Philanthropy is like repairing these highways because money has to be spent correctly to make sure everything operates smoothly. Overall if the correct steps are taken in our present day, then the internet is going to have a very bright future.

  15. Arman Sandhu March 12, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

    Human beings are a culmination of many things, and sometimes they define themselves by metaphors as Susan Crawford mentioned. However, Nikola Tesla labeled as the father of electricity said, “Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments.” The internet is indirectly built by Nikola Tesla. However, what Susan Crawford seems to fear about the internet is simply the future.

    Technology will lead to the future, and will dictate things that may happen in the future. However, arbitrary pieces of paper with pen writing will define the true “present”. Technology seems to be headed in a bad direction. With corporations fighting for the views of the public. At the same time ruining the lives of many consumers and asserting the content viewers see. This seems like an awful idea at a time when everything is merely a device used to make money.

    Tesla offers a better advice that seems a little more practical. The work of mankind is like its future. This is why it is important to simply live in the present. This does not mean to neglect the right thing. As well as to know what the right path is and where we should follow. The main idea is to have convictions in one’s ideas.

    Ms. Crawford is right in the idea that people build their lives with metaphors. However, whether we should determine the future without reaching it is another statement. Rather than say the world will be defined by ants we should say that the future is built upon accomplishments. We as people are not wrinkles in time, but are crucial points to the future. Technology will shape the world, but we will direct that shape.

  16. Dylan Walko April 8, 2015 at 10:50 pm #

    The future of the internet is definitely at hand and has potential to become something that none of us would have ever imagined. Considering the Worldwide Web was only truly established in the middle to late 90’s, the internet is only a couple decades in. It has made enormous leaps and bounds in that time but without question will continue to grow into something that stretches from United States to the farthest corners of the world that have still not been touched by the beauty of technology.
    But if we as citizens want the internet to remain an autonomous tool that is monitored and restricted entirely by government and big business, philanthropy must take a stand and fight for the good of the people. TV as stated within the article has already gone completely to the providers. It is no longer something created for entertainment and pleasure but rather just a tool for companies to make millions of dollars off of advertisement.
    With an initiative now though the internet can be managed and still give people the freedom to use it to its fullest potential without giving into the monopoly that many companies want it to become. My name is Dylan Walko and I approve this message.

  17. Nick M. November 10, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    As someone who grew up with the internet, it’s amazing to see just how much the internet has grown over the years. The internet has made a holiday season normally filled with flooded malls and jammed freeways into something accomplish-able from ones couch. The internet has helped give an alternative to television, something that was inconceivable just a few years ago. Is this just the beginning of the rise of the internet? Have we as humans not yet tapped into the internet’s fullest potential?

    It is mind-boggling to think of just how powerful and influential the internet can become in the future. It is our generations’ responsibility, however, to make sure that the internet is utilized freely and fairly. The internet must not become intrusive to individuals, it should remain a tool, an asset for individuals to stay connected and entertained, not controlled. With democracy, citizens must be aware and informed of the facts and the issues at hand and keep the internet an asset to the human race.

  18. Nicolette D November 15, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

    I think this article points out different ideas on the future of the Internet. The article showed that individuals are actually starting to realize the reality of the issues of the Internet. Now, it’s safe to say that we all know how frequent the changes and updates with the Internet have become. On a regular basis, there are advantages and disadvantages that can change the way we truly see everything.

    As I read this article, I noticed how it addressed our world becoming more “compassion and connected,” and notes the fact improvements need to be made. Ford is even making improvements; they recognize that all people must have access to other opportunities. This actually makes me feel content. Many issues can then be prevented on the Internet.

  19. KoL Unger February 11, 2016 at 8:32 pm #

    History has proven that we as humans do a terrible job of predicting the future. While this can be applied to broad spectrum of arenas, this can especially be seen in technology. For instance, Back to Future predicted that everyone would be driving flying cars in the sky, have retinol scanners for house locks, self-fitting clothing, and hover boards. While we have achieved much since 1980s, all these technological advances that were predicted to be everyday items are in actuality very experimental if existent. In line with this, the article seeks to point out just how unknown the future of technology is. We are indeed “ants on a wrinkle of history” incapable of seeing what’s ahead. When it comes to technology, this is an especially scary fact. It will always be an industry that causes both excitement and fear. The numerous future dystopian films that have come out – such as WALL-E, Minority Report, Mad Max, Hunger Games, Matrix, and endless others – do a wonderful job at instilling a fear of technological progress. It is widely accepted that technological advancements will bring with it huge risks. America and the rest of the world must realize this and take proactive steps towards avoiding potential pitfalls.

    The greatest fear the article presents is that of creating two United States of Americas. I had never thought about technology’s potential to create such a divide. This could happen two ways. The first is if a significant technological improvement is not available to a certain group of people, whether because of lack of money or power. This divide could also come about if a wide group of people should reject further advancements due to suspicion. However this could potentially come about, there would be a divide between those who are able to take advantage of technology and those who “remain on a non-interactive plane.” This idea is depicted through a movie called Elysium, in which the wealthy live long, luxurious lives in a Mecca of technology while the poor and oppressed live grueling, short lives because they do not possess the same advancements. The idea initially seems preposterous, but the article argues that it should be recognized as a real possibility.

    Luckily, the article does not simply leave us with this dismal news. It details how companies in the technology industry are already taking steps to ensure that these dystopian futures of film do not manifest in reality. Presidents of major businesses, Ford, Knight, Mozilla, MacArthur, and Open Society, have all joined together and invested large sums of money into projects furthering innovation and new research. Much of the money has been designated to developing technology amongst the philanthropic sector, hoping to utilize this area to protect the poor from digital exclusion and being left behind in future times of progress.

    This article prodded me to think about where money should be going in regards to preparing for the future. Digital exclusion had never occurred to me. However, even after reading this, I remain skeptical of the odds of it actually happening. Considering that this is all speculation and no data is presented, I do not consider it the number one priority for where money should be invested. I do believe a significant portion of funds should be appropriated to the formation of policy that regulates technology’s invasive nature on citizen’s privacy. Yet beyond this, I think the focus rather should be on advancing technology and utilizing it to improve the standard of life globally. Money should be designated to these areas first. If in the future there are legitimate signs of digital exclusion then finances can be redistributed accordingly to deal with the issue.

  20. Qi Li March 18, 2016 at 6:43 pm #

    After reading this article” The Future of the Internet Might Hinge on This Bet”, it does not only me the reader’s opinion about the future of the internet, but also it helps me build a lot of personal opinions about the future of the internet. Speaking of my own opinion, the future of the internet global distribution of information and knowledge at lower and lower cost will continue to lift the world community and generation to come. People will have access to any information they wish, get smarter and sooner and be more aware of the world outside their local environment. A better inform humanity will make better macro-level decisions, and an increasingly integrated world will drive international relations towards a global focus. Attachment countries will marginally decreases and attachment to the earth as a shared resource will significantly increases.
    The future of the internet communication revolution is ongoing, now unities communities as it recently united networks. Not everything about the internet is global; an interconnected world is also locally interconnected. The internet will increasingly be used for communication within communities as much as across countries local communities will organize in virtual space and take increasing advantage of group communication tools such as mailing list, News groups, and websites, and towns, and cities will become more organized and empowered at the neighborhood level.

    The future of internet growth in bandwidth viability shows little sign of. Cable modems and telephones based on DSL modems will continue to spread high speed internet throughout populated areas. High resolution audio, video, and virtual reality will be increasingly available online and on demand, and the cost of all kinds of internet connection will continue of drop.
    The future of internet wireless communications is the wireless frequencies has two great advantages, one is there are no infrastructure startup or maintenance costs other than the basic stations, and other is it free users to become mobile, taking internet use from an dimensions to three. Wireless internet networks will offer increasingly faster services at vastly lower costs over wider distances, eventually pushing out physical transmission systems. The internet open TCP/IP design was originally inspired by use of radio communication network in 1970’s. The wireless technologies experimented with in the 1990’s were continually improved by the early 2000’s several technologies provides reliable, secure, high bandwidth networking that work in crowded city centers and on the move, providing nearly the same mobility for internet communications as for the cellular phone.
    The future of internet grid movements is an inevitable as the spread of the internet seems now. The connection of thousands of computers on the internet together to solve problems, often called “grid computing”. In a large scale example of the connected internet computer cycle from home users across the world will be harnessed together to be provide enormous reservoirs of computer power for all sorts of purposes. Increasingly used for scientific and engineering research, grids can create processing power houses for larger than any one organization by itself.
    The future of the internet integration with an increasingly number of other technology is as natural as a musician’s experimentation with notes. The internet will become increasingly integrated with phones, televisions, home appliances, portable digital assistance, and range of other small hardware devices, providing an unprecedented, nearly uniform layer of integrated data communication. User will be able to across, status, and control this connected infrastructure from anywhere on the internet

  21. Kevin A April 10, 2016 at 12:49 pm #

    I found this article to be very interesting especially because I often find myself questioning where technology will go in the future. I see my parents struggle to use their new iPhones and it just makes me wonder what technology will be invented in the future that I won’t understand right away. The internet is at the center of the advancement of technology. Not only should we think about what role it will have in the future of technology, but also the role it will have in controlling that technology.
    As of now the internet is a free forum. Most people, in America, want to keep it that way. To do this people must think not only how new technology will effect their lives and make it easier, but also how it can be used against them and what sort of restrictions can be made by it. In the end there are people who look at the advancement of technology and see all the good it can do, then there are some who see technology differently in a way that some who see how it can be used to limit others.

  22. Ashley Keyworth June 14, 2016 at 9:22 pm #

    The article by Susan Crawford, “The Future of the Internet Might Hinge on This Bet,” emphasizes how much the internet has impacted society as a whole. The comparison that is made about the internet being like electricity, stood out the most for me. It is extremely difficult to imagine life with electricity, and I feel the same goes for accessing the internet. However, I never thought about it prior to reading this article. Mainly because as long as I could remember, the Internet has always been in my life, just as electricity. I also think that Susan continues this theme of metaphors throughout the rest of the article when she includes how “the Internet is the new TV.” This conveys how over time there could possibly be a new technology that comes into play, that would ultimately replace the internet, just as the internet has in some way replaced TV.
    I think this is a strong interpretation of how the Internet has impacted so many people’s daily lives. I agree with Susan’s idea of what the Internet has become and where it is going. This article really opened my eyes to comprehending how the Internet is a major part of my life. Just thinking about how many times I use the Internet on a daily basis, reiterates how much it has made a difference in my life alone. In addition, this article raises the question of what the Internet could possibly be capable of in the future. I think Susan clarifies this point by stating that “we are in a battle for the future of the Internet.” This is an important factor because the future of what the Internet will become, is completely unpredictable.

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