The internet, a cause for revolution

Just watched the latest and final edition of Virtual Revolution, available on iplayer here and I strongly recommend you do. It asks a lot of difficult questions about how you use the web.

For example, one of the more interesting ones is how it is making us think, more by association than by any linear ordering. The tendency to skim a website and not read it in whole has led to university lecturers noticing students disappointment when they recommend books to read, since reading this much content is new to them. The fact we can possibly no longer hold ideas for any great time is a scary one, but not as terrifying as that of eliminating individualism by insisting everyone think the same way. If it is making people become more creative and abstract in their thinking, maybe their will be consequences, but surely there will be benefits too. New ideas are often formed by thinking outside of the box, and this would certainly happen with this more haphazard thinking.

Several held the view that the web was something to fear, something that is changing our young people beyond recognition, completely separate from the upbringing we had. Some worried the lack of any physical consequence to their actions would have a strong impact on the very young, and should be discouraged. Personally, I feel this is just scaremongering, since the lessons learnt by breaking rules will be learned eventually, and that the sense of community that can be gained for an only child is immense.

The key idea I came way with was one of hope, that this new generation will understand the importance of communication and co-operation, and so sparking a new age of discovery and collaboration. It is interesting to think how much time you get to yourself, or that matter, if you too are a Christian, with God. Have you too been affected by anxiety to contribute to a community, to feel valued. I know I have at times, but would I give it up? Never, but neither will I fall in love with it for being perfect. Like the printing press, the invention is good, but the content can vary hugely, and its reliability depends very much on the source.

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