The electronic network that spread like a spiderweb around the globe is just more of the same old same old. Instead of a melding, all we have now are bigger mobs who waste their time trying to shout down the noise coming from the other mobs. Instead of a place to exchange ideas, I see a community where hucksters and rip offs ply their trades with impunity from thousands of miles away. Instead of creating conditions for better social and political change, I see more paranoia and mistrust than ever before among government, religious and social leaderships and their flocks.
What I neglected to figure into this in the beginning was people. You can give people better tools, but they are still people. The Internet has had no effect on the base faults we all cart around in our bag of character traits. If anything, the Internet has freed us to act out in negative ways while thinking we are protected from repercussion because we use a fake handle.
In reality, we have opened ourselves up to more scrutiny, more intrusions, and more ridicule than we had before we plugged in. Privacy has left the building. We held the door open and kicked it in the ass as it passed, all the while pissin and moanin about our loss of it. Cake and eating it too comes to mind.
To be fair, my original wide eyed optimism has not been completely shot down. I have seen and experienced first hand some of the positive wonders of the Internet. In ways, both large and small, change has happened and is still happening. The inventive genius types have found innovative ways to use the Internet to enrich the lives of many people throughout the world. Some are obvious, while most float around unnoticed by all except those who benefit.
When it is all said and done, the World Wide Web and all of its spin offs are in their infancy. We are still figuring out just what it is we have here and how far we want to take it. By its very nature, the WWW will most likely always be evolving into something new and