Week 7

15 10 2007

I think the web has changed the way we communicate just as much as it has changed the way we think. From this new communication, ideas and movements are springing up and changing the world. The concept of the meme really works well with the internet. I can’t think of a better way to spread cultural information than the world wide web. The instantaneous transmission of lolcats, Chuck Norris Facts, and maybe even more useful academic information has been beneficial to everyone who uses it.  Online databases of e-journals, newspapers, and government documents make knowledge accessible in a very convenient format.

So how has the internet changed the way we think? My opinion is that the changes are evident as they relate to demographic economic and academic data. If you compare cultures where the internet is widely available with those where it is not, other distinctions become apparent like economic wealth, and scientific reputation.  The web is enhancing the progress of our societies, in the places where it is available.  Looking at this map published by Wired magazine, it becomes visible how the internet is much easier to access in developed nations with strong economies and educated citizens. Of course, these conditions may have existed before the internet was invented, but if the WWW became available in the less developed countries maybe it would act as a catalyst in improving infrastructure, government, and other products of culture. (Oddly enough I first read that article in print.)

Brian Howell

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One response

16 10 2007
dtaciuch

The topic of tech and economy is often discussed under the heading “Digital Divide.” Wealthy nations (or wealthy citizens) get better faster access and become wealthier. The poor or middle-class have less access, and get poorer.

–dr t

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