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    • CommentAuthorjona
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2008 edited
    Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web, believes that the web is only in it's infancy and that the "future of the web will put all the data in the world at the fingertips of every user".article here

    He also believes that someday the web will help manage the planet. I find that a scary prospect, I think we rely on the web too much as it is.

    So what do you good people see as the future of the web?

    What are the pros and cons?
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2008
    An interface for the internet in your contact is the way things are going. Complete access through a usb port in your head. Seriously were so there already, look at our science fiction.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2008
    Wishful thinking. You can't eat the Internet, or breathe it, and it doesn't cure cancer. And reading wikipedia entries doesn't make smarter.

    The Internet is for porn, you know.
  1.  (2028.4)
    Well of course the internet isn't fully grown yet. It'd be the shortest period of growth of any human invention ever.
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2008
    I dunno if any complex technology is ever 'fully-grown', there's always improvements to be made...

    I read something that said that in a couple of years the internet might slow to a crawl because the usage is growing so much and the cables (usually phone lines) we use won't be able to handle it. It won't stop, it will just get very slow. So, I imagine that some kind of re-haul might be in order, in which case the internet might be very different. All the data in the world at the tips of every user, interesting concept, not sure how it would work. I assume that only includes data which people have chosen to put online...

    I'm wary of the concept of 'running the planet' on the internet, it seems a bit scary for humanity to depend on something so artificial. Then again, to some extent we already do.
    • CommentAuthorjona
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2008
    Part of the problem, as I see it, is that too many people come to rely upon what is written on the internet as the gospel truth, where all answers to all questions are there.

    undoubtedly the internet is useful, but maybe we think a little less because of it ( present company accepted) which is never a good thing.

    Maybe it's just me but I mistrust something that grows so rapidly and is relied upon so easily.

    There'll be tears before bedtime I fear
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2008
    All the internet is is an information network, a sort of electronic library with database applications. I don't think the time will come, in the near future anyway, where people are connected directly.

    As far as the world being run on the internet? It's already happening. Stocks, trade, finances, communications, everything information-based is already being stored and transmitted on the internet. And there's systems on the horizon to run your house from... not your house. Lights, appliances, heating/cooling, etc. And right now the U.S. government can fly radio-controlled planes from hundreds (if not thousands) of miles away with the Predator unmanned planes.

    The only thing that we're missing is a direct connection from person to person. And Mr. Ellis is obviously on that line of thinking, what with the Shrieky Girls in Doktor Sleepless.

    Mmmm... real-life Shrieky Girls. *drools*
  2.  (2028.8)
    Personal opinion/observation;

    The internet has and will continue to become more and more ubiquitous in our lives, to be sure. Dangerous or scary? I don't know about that. It will have far more positive effects then negative.

    Here's what I use it for; Selling/buying things(Ebay, Craigslist), News, Weather, technical info(wiring diagrams, operations manuals, software, etc), images, communication, language translation, maps/locations/travel plans, job hunting, comics, videos/movies, music. And these are just the daily things I use it for.

    I fell out of owning a television because of a move I made 7 years ago. The internet has grown into a thing that wipes the TV's uses for me away. Taking a few seconds to scan the headlines and weather, no 30 second commercials; I can sum up what used to be 1 hour of 'telly' in 5 minutes with a good internet connection.
  3.  (2028.9)


    People already take things from books and TV as gospel. How do you feel the internet will make things worse?
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2008
    I just find it difficult to do real work. It'd be nice if I were a writer, but as it is right now I'm a graphic communications student... meaning I should be designing and programming and writing, and all I seem to do is poke around and not really accomplish much.

    I learn a lot, but I don't get anything done. Which is sort of how my education has always been like.
    • CommentAuthorjona
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2008
    @val: I agree with you to an extent that we already rely upon books and TV a lot, but I sense that THE INTERNET has been presented as this shiny all knowing entity. Already you see children googling things rather than reading a number of books - as I did -to gain a balanced view point. Yes you can do it via the web, but most, mine included, just grab the info off the first site. The children accept what is written on a website without question because that is how they know to access information

    Companies pay Google to put them higher up the rankings of the search engine without necessarily being more valid than another site.

    I enjoy the web for a variety of reasons, mainly news related, so don't come down too hard on it, but I do wonder where it is leading us
  4.  (2028.12)
    I apologise in advance if I manage to miss the point of what this thread is about (it... sadly happens).

    I don't think being directly connected up to the internet will help anyone to be honest.

    If there's something that's really become apparent over the last couple of years (flickr, twitter, BBCi etc), it's as much about how data is presented as the data itself. We're already able to get *access* to a colossal amount of data incredibly quickly, but actually having it in a way we can easily use is a bit more time consuming.

    Using flickr as an example, there have always been images on the internet, but flickr provides a framework for displaying, finding, linking those images and building abstract networks of people around them... that is something that didn't exist before, and probably indicates where the internet is going.

    We're always going to need applications to process data and format it so we understand it. So in a sense, the internet is probably never going to be "all the data in the world at everyone's fingertips" because we can't process that.

    Where it's going... probably as Berners-Lee says, it'll be more applications and linking them together in interesting ways.

    Maybe that data is going to start seeping into our world in more and more curious ways. Just from a "can connect to existing systems" perspective, we already have the internet on our cellphones and games consoles can grab data from the whole internet apparatus and communicate through it, so maybe it'll be Internet Enabled Smart Ovens next. Maybe the "plugging it into our heads" will occur in some other way that goes beyond reading text on screens. Quite what that would be, I don't know.

    The backbone of the internet probably has uses that no-one else has thought of yet. It's ... quite exciting.
  5.  (2028.13)

    I believe the 'Shiny' part of the internet is dying. Example; Let's say 1996 is the year the internet really hit upon the basic formula of what we still know it to be. If you were born in 1996, that means you're 12 years old now. The Internet was always there; You grew up with a mouse, GUI and keyboard at your hands and is truly ubiquitous.

    We all will use this resource for whatever means we wish, good or bad. I think as far as the inanimate 'baby-sitter' concept goes, it's danger potential is far greater for kids, I agree.
    • CommentAuthorjona
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2008

    You put your arguement more cogently and succinctly than I do. Damn you Sir! :)

    But the fact that the 'shiny' part is dying might be worrying as we accept it as the norm as a compendium or font of knowledge. As you say the baby-sitter mode is a danger and it is this generation that needs to be taught that there is knowledge beyond the web and that original and individual thought is something to be cherished.

    I think we basically agree on this.
  6.  (2028.15)

    Yes, total agreement. It's all a matter of learning/being taught to use the tools correctly. I don't currently have kids and am a few levels removed from enough experience with them to be allowed to say what they do or how they act other than be overly cautious on my end. I wonder how teachers do it sometimes...
    • CommentAuthorjona
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2008
    @ val

    I have an 11 year old daughter and the teachers are part of the problem. They are telling the children to us e websites for research. Text books are pretty much a thing of the past now. Well, certainly here in the UK where, in my daughters school, they all have laptops of their own from the school.

    I try to encourage my daughter to get books from the library to supplement what she reads on the web.
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2008
    The trouble I think is that at least with a book you have to go through certain hoops to get one published, and certain publishers have good or bad reputations. With the internet, literally anyone can put anything up there. You can check something on Wikipedia, but for all you know, five seconds before you went on some idiot might have added in some complete bollocks piece of information (maybe even deliberately). Some people say to only trust it if there's a source, but I've seen stuff on Wikipedia where there is a source, but it doesn't back up the statement it's attributed to in the article, or it's an incredibly unreliable source. I'm pretty shocked that teachers are telling kids to use the internet for research. I'm sure when I was at school or college we were told not to trust anything we read on the internet unless it was clearly from a reliable source.

    The idea of all the information in the world being available sort of reminds me of the Jorge Luis Borges' story The Library of Babel. Well, it's not quite the same, but still...
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2008
    Agreement here also.

    If I think that a cursory google will reveal enough information to understand something, more fool me. If I use the internet to access Ingenta, JSTOR, Web of Knowledge, etc., then I'm onto a better track.

    The medium isn't (I don't think) the issue; it's what information is found using it, and the internet makes it much easier to find that information and then access it. The third part of that puzzle, of course, is critical reading, and that's what teachers need to be stressing at first principles along with the shiny websites.
  7.  (2028.19)
    @ Jona

    One comforting thought that came to me over the past hour or so. Consider if you will the pocket calculator. These little devils were supposed to ruin the basic learning of math years ago but haven't done so. I'd suppose the same thing goes for the analog clock, perhaps. I would worry if anyone in the Western world couldn't read one.

    The immediate danger I see from the internet for kids is people having the ability to communicate with them and are able to hide their identity and age to a great degree from said child. I'm not trying to take away from a definite concern on your part for the content of info the web gives out primarily as a parent with all these ideas by any means. These are just ideas on the negative/positive possibilities for everyone in regards to the internet's ascension.
    • CommentAuthorjona
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2008

    Agreed, "critical reading" is a very apt phrase. I think it is one we are losing, or rather the next generation is losing.


    Not sure the calculator is a good example. I know a number of children who can't do simple calculations without a calculator. Might say something about the children I know. I will admit I'm crap at maths but I can still do most functions without a calculator.

    Quite agree about the anonimity of people online, hence why I have the PC in the living room so I can monitor what my daughter is accessing. Thankfully, she has yet to discover social networking sites, not that they are a bad thing.

    I think that the 'glamour' of the internet is appealing to kids. It is rapidly becoming a medium that a lot of parents do not understand or cannot keep up with.