Jump to content

Welcome to Obsidian Forum Community
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

The Internet has got a lot of growing up to do


  • Please log in to reply
38 replies to this topic

#1
Humodour

Humodour

    Arch-Mage

  • Members.
  • 3563 posts
I was just flicking through country stats and when I read the list of the countries in the world ranked by number of Internet users I did a bit of a double-take: there is a LOT of untapped potential left. LOTS of new citizens will be added to the Internet every year for decades to come. Including from nearly-developed countries like Poland, Italy, Brazil, and Russia.

https://www.cia.gov/...=aus&rank=25#as

Edit: to clarify, my core point is that the Internet still only covers about 1/7th of the world's population (with low saturation in key developing countries like Nigeria, Indonesia, China, and India), so it's quite likely we'll see a 3 or 4-fold increase in Internet user population in the 10 and 20 years. That will bring a lot of changes with it, just as the rapid increases in Internet size of the past have (I don't know if you guys have really noticed, but the Internet is for better or worse no longer the domain of scientists, academics and techies that it was in the 90's and early 2000's).

Edited by Krezack, 22 April 2012 - 01:46 AM.


#2
Gorth

Gorth

    Global Moderator

  • Global Moderators
  • 9692 posts
  • Location:Australia
I'm not sure that I would classify Italy as a developing, nearly or not, country. It has twice the GDP of Australia and is the worlds 11th largest economy (and that's without a disproportionately large mining sector).

#3
Walsingham

Walsingham

    Obsidian VIP

  • Members
  • 5577 posts
  • Location:The drawing room of Lady Muldoon's residence one morning in early spring
  • Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
But just think of all the rare metals, plastics, and copper needed to get all those folks online.

#4
Rosbjerg

Rosbjerg

    Global Moderator

  • Global Moderators
  • 3824 posts
  • Location:The State, in which something is rotten
That's a good thing Walsh, using resources to connect human beings are well spend resources .. instead they would probably go to weapon manufacturing or some other wasteful endeavor.
  • Rostere likes this

#5
Gorgon

Gorgon

    Forum Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 3455 posts
Bringing people together under state control and censorship one could argue, in the case of China.

#6
Malcador

Malcador

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 4876 posts
  • Location:Someplace in Canada
  • Xbox Gamertag:Pft, consoles.
  • Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

That's a good thing Walsh, using resources to connect human beings are well spend resources .. instead they would probably go to weapon manufacturing or some other wasteful endeavor.


I dunno, most of the internet seems to be wasteful.

#7
Tigranes

Tigranes

    Global Moderator

  • Global Moderators
  • 8638 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia, USA
  • Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
The last few years there's been some talk about how this will involve a more multilingual internet, symbolised by the proliferation of various domain suffixes, regional enclaves (because we know now the internet is definitely spatial in its own way), etc. I think you can definitely point to at least the Korean internetscape and note how such enclaves thrive and develop - I'm sure it's also the case in some others I don't have language access to, e.g. Russian.

What will really be interesting is how those regional landscapes become commercialised, e.g. in the way the Anglophone one has been. (Not that they aren't already, but I mean how the global interlocking of internet-based industries and businesses will work, the flow of money.)

#8
Rosbjerg

Rosbjerg

    Global Moderator

  • Global Moderators
  • 3824 posts
  • Location:The State, in which something is rotten

I dunno, most of the internet seems to be wasteful.


So is most of the democratic process .. The internet is catalyst for many thing, good and bad - but what is does good outweighs the bad many times over.

This little video from TED talk is just one example of what good we can achieve with enough people.

#9
Gorgon

Gorgon

    Forum Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 3455 posts
I don't know that connectivity is inherently a democratizing force or 'bringing us together' in the idalistic sense. I hope along with everyone else that technology is going to be our great savior, but honestly history suggest we are more likely to repeat our mistakes in perpetuity.

#10
Walsingham

Walsingham

    Obsidian VIP

  • Members
  • 5577 posts
  • Location:The drawing room of Lady Muldoon's residence one morning in early spring
  • Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
All the copper wire in the universe can't change the basic nature of man from being parochial, lazy, and selfish.

Utopia projects are - even in Civ - a pointless distraction from meaningful pedestrian policies.

#11
Rosbjerg

Rosbjerg

    Global Moderator

  • Global Moderators
  • 3824 posts
  • Location:The State, in which something is rotten
History also shows us that society has evolved, often through great turmoil and duress, but evolved none-the-less .. and more often than not when people came together. So it depends on how you read history .. we might very well end up destroying our current civilization, but we humans are tough SOBs and in the end I'm sure well keep selfishly dreaming and striving towards a better tomorrow.
  • Rostere likes this

#12
LadyCrimson

LadyCrimson

    Forum Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 7551 posts
  • Location:Candyland
  • Gold Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Edit: to clarify, my core point is that the Internet still only covers about 1/7th of the world's population (with low saturation in key developing countries like Nigeria, Indonesia, China, and India),

And many of those still have lowish speed internet and/or fairly severe bandwidth limits. I see ppl in forums constantly saying things like "everyone has 'net/highspeed/unlimited bandwidth nowadays" and laugh.

I don't know if more will change the world that much tho, outside of better/faster access to the news/events and perhaps more physical sloth - assuming an area's internet isn't censored. Mostly seems like it'll change bandwidth/true speed capability (vs. advertised speeds :ermm: ) for a while as companies fall more and more behind on keeping infrastructure up with demand. That's about it. And yeah, the 'net hasn't been a majority domain of science/computer geeks for ages now.

#13
WDeranged

WDeranged

    Ordinator of The Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 1380 posts
  • Location:England
I've got a vague hope that a truly world wide web with good translation algorithms might make illegitimate wars a bit less likely, it's much harder to demonise a far flung nation if your populace can feely communicate with them.

#14
Malcador

Malcador

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 4876 posts
  • Location:Someplace in Canada
  • Xbox Gamertag:Pft, consoles.
  • Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
Doubt it, they would have to want to talk to and trust those foreigners first.

#15
LadyCrimson

LadyCrimson

    Forum Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 7551 posts
  • Location:Candyland
  • Gold Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
Not to mention, know where they're from to begin with. With the anonymous nature of most of the internet, that doesn't happen (at least initially) all that often anymore....except in a few places/circumstances.

#16
Walsingham

Walsingham

    Obsidian VIP

  • Members
  • 5577 posts
  • Location:The drawing room of Lady Muldoon's residence one morning in early spring
  • Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

I've got a vague hope that a truly world wide web with good translation algorithms might make illegitimate wars a bit less likely, it's much harder to demonise a far flung nation if your populace can feely communicate with them.


While I approve the sentiment, all I've seen the internet do in that respect is promote moral relativism to the extent that a mass murdering foreign dictator is trusted more than a democratically elected European government.

The equivalent effect in dictatorial countries matters much less because the people aren't consulted.

~~

I don't mean to sound defeatist. I believe in change and improvement. But I believe in change centred on and driven by rare good people, not a notion of the common man set free.

#17
Humodour

Humodour

    Arch-Mage

  • Members.
  • 3563 posts

I don't mean to sound defeatist. I believe in change and improvement. But I believe in change centred on and driven by rare good people, not a notion of the common man set free.


And who do you think props up all those 'rare good people', Wals? Because most of them are not millionaires, most of them don't have millions of hands, or minds, or even perspectives that they can use at once. And the number of 'rare good people' expands dramatically when you expand the definition to 'normal people' who are experts or professionals in a field (which thankfully even the dumbest among us tend to be), your scepticism towards the concept of change being driven by 'the common man set free' really starts to fall apart.

The Internet would unambiguously be a society-shatteringly good thing even if its only purpose were to magnify the abilities of those 'rare good people' (who are rather common), but thankfully it isn't. The Internet is not a uniform good, like much of technology. But damn, mate, it has a pretty smegging good track record.

By the way, if anybody is curious about some of the ways the Internet has, is and will be shaping humanity in the future, these topics are worth doing some research on (Wikipedia is a good place to start... haha):
Kaggle
Wikipedia
Linux
GNU
Kickstarter
Mozilla
Raspberry Pi
Khan Academy (while this fits well into your 'rare good people argument, Wals, the fact is ordinary people have been sharing their knowledge freely and accurately on the Internet since its inception - all those tutorial writers for whatever topic you can think of and which we all find handy fairly often are a classic example of the power of the average joe when given a medium to share his expertise in his field)
Mesh networking (check this out if you're curious about truly eliminating Internet censorship, or are curious about ways to decentralise the Internet and thus make it more fault-tolerant)

#18
Guard Dog

Guard Dog

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 374 posts
  • Backer
I happen to know that a good number of mid sized cities on northern Mexico will soon have public wi-fi.

#19
Masterfade

Masterfade

    (3) Conjurer

  • Members
  • 188 posts

I've got a vague hope that a truly world wide web with good translation algorithms might make illegitimate wars a bit less likely, it's much harder to demonise a far flung nation if your populace can feely communicate with them.


Even without the language barrier, communications are likely to go wrong unless there are shared cultural and social contexts between the parties. Greater ease of communication without shared background may simply create more opportunities for prejudice and misunderstanding, e.g. the uproar over necrophilia law in Egypt.

Edited by Masterfade, 08 May 2012 - 07:53 PM.


#20
Meshugger

Meshugger

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 5020 posts
  • Location:IRQ port 11
  • Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

I happen to know that a good number of mid sized cities on northern Mexico will soon have public wi-fi.


What, did you put them up yourself or something? :p




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users