torsdag, februar 21, 2008

Life after the internet? Or without the internet?

Once, to make a point which I no longer remember, I asked a class to envisage the world after the internet. The world is forever in a state of change, technology is always being replaced and renewed, so what thing or things would we be using to do what we do today on the internet? I've set the same question to other groups since then, and now I'm asking you.

And I realize that it's an unanswerable question, insofar as anyone tackling this issue has first to come up with a specific and workable definition of what the internet actually is. My own thoughts would be that because the internet does seem to be remarkably fluid entity, it will be changing, and is changing, while still being seen as the same by those who use it. But at some point, there could well be something really, totally, obviously different that comes along and takes over, at which point, my powers of prognosis melt down. But what do you envision?

On a related note, the above photo comes from here, and asks a somewhat related question, namely could there be an internet-free day, where no one on the planet used the internet. On a general level, then it could all become quite complicated, and once again would require a good amount of defining terms first...would it include intranets, to give just one obvious example? On an individual level, I think that to some extent it could work, but only to the extent that, for example, there can be (and is) a regularly occurring music-free day. Which is to say, that it's a nice idea, but just because it exists doesn't mean that everyone knows about it, or that all who know about it would follow it. I'd certainly consider turning off my number one addiction for a day, as much as it's feasible and possible to do so...though probably not until after finishing Blog365! Would you consider such a radical act? Could you survive an internet-free day?

3 kommentarer:

Chibithulhu sagde ...

a massive telecommunications grid is not something that societies stop using as newer technology comes along, though - it is something they upgrade and maintain to interface with their new gadgets. the internet itself will be there, but the way we access it will continue to change.

example: within the past decade, i have seen internet access go from being something done via big heavy computer terminals at desks to something done via pocket-sized wireless things. sure, we still have the desktop computers for times when people wanna sit down and surf, but we have internet-in-your-pocket for accessing info on the go so we never have to actually remember anything ever again because the machines do it for us.

next up will be probably be wearable internet access and eventually implanted acess. look things up on Google by looking at them, search for a song on iTunes by thinking about the bit of it you heard in a store or something. that kinda thing

kimananda sagde ...

Yeah, I basically agree. We could also argue the extent to which the internet itself is actually a carry-on from things that have gone before (kinda silly sounding, but the literature on the social web does have a lot of statements, and I've made some myself, of the 'blogs are just newspapers (or diaries), wikis are just encyclopedias, Google and other search engines are just card catalogs, Skype is just a phone network' kind of thing...and of course, they are...but equally, they really are not).

But I do think that at some point, there could be a shift big enough to merit its own name. For example, implanted access would be a continuation, but would it be perceived as such, or would the most efficient ways of ensuring that kind of access be different enough to make it be viewed differently. I realize that this is more an argument of semantics than anything else...but it fits in which my research interest, which seems to be increasingly focused on the purely semantic.

Chibithulhu sagde ...

terms for the big electronic video-text-and-music-spready network are already changing. Cyberspace is now outdated and laughable. it is the Intertubes, the googlenets, The Big Ball Of Free Porn In The Sky. Sure, the words are going to change with the aesthetic preferences of the people using them, but it's like asking if there's a difference between bathroom tissue and toilet paper.

I do agree that the new words will be more descriptive of the way the FreePornSkyBallTubeNet is accessed.