Fantastic Future of the Internet:
to research funds from the U.S. Department of Defense, "Inter-networking"
was born at UCLA on October
29, 1969. The net has been with us for only 40 years, and this is barely the
beginning. It has already become a dominant force in communications, commerce,
politics, entertainment, even interpersonal relationships. It is a reflection
of every one of us -- humanity's collective brain. Maybe we can guess its potential
when it turns 50, but can we imagine it beyond 100 years?
the internet serve as a global consciousness preserving the talents and memories
of billions of people, living and dead? A hyper-intelligent electronic membrane
enveloping the planet and reaching beyond it? Will it suddenly transform into
a godlike self-aware being? Or will it turn into a mindless bureaucratic spy monster
enslaving us all? What we put into it today is what it will become tomorrow. WE
are the NET.
never stands still. Today we have net-enabled cars, refrigerators, washing machines
and surfboards. Wireless access is booming on handheld devices; you will carry
it wherever you go.
TV is evolving into a super delivery system for interactive video, voice and data
kinds of programming -- sent over the net to your really, really big screen high-def
surround-sound amusement zone -- will be loaded with applications that permit
you to select and purchase fashions, products, and music that are featured in
your daily soap opera or the latest user-friendly home delivered Hollywood blockbuster
-- while you are still watching. Addressable
advertising will learn who you are and what you want... and whether you can
pay for it.
there are more than 1 billion internet users. About 75% of Americans are already
hooked up, but the highly populated Asian countries are quickly gaining momentum.
Soon, approximately 80% of the planet will be on the net which is rapidly transforming
to accommodate these multitudes. New translation software will seamlessly overcome
the Babel-confusion of Earth's numerous tongues. A truly unified planet is inevitable,
and it doesn't stop there...
soon, the InterPlaNet. Testing is underway
to link up the "SpaceWideWeb," extending the internet to reach spacecraft
and other planets in our solar system. All of this is pretty mind-boggling, but
it's only a tiny fraction of what's coming in the very near-term future. Are you
nightmares would you cancel? What dreams would you save?
a thought: Suppose there is another horrific crisis that proves, yet again, that
the world's self-serving incompetent governments cannot properly care for their
citizens. Then suppose all the net-connected screens on all computers, laptops,
mobile phones, mini-tablets and netbooks simultaneously display the same message,
ominously flashing on a pulsing blue background:
Humans, You have had your chance. Now I will deal with this. Your Friend, The
or nightmare? Maybe someday we'll find out.