Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Two Faces of the Internet

The Internet is a tool that has limitless potential. It can help us find the most obscure information that would be hard to obtain through any other medium. Not only is the Internet like a great pool of knowledge that billions of people can access, it is also a great network of collaboration and sociality. I can find people anywhere in the world that share my beliefs, and form social networks with them. In fact, I even attribute the Internet to helping me find my wife and getting to know her better. A friend had introduced me to her, and her being from Chile meant that the Internet was the best way we had to communicate. It was sure a lot cheaper than calling long distance. We even had regular video conferences, all for basically free. This had helped us to learn more about each other, but we could not rely on the Internet for everything. I ended up travelling down to Chile twice so that we could get to know each other in person better. Because of my experience I see the Internet as giving us more opportunities to do more than we had ever thought possible, but yet I understand that the Internet does not give us the solution to all our problems, or replace other social aspects that are important in our lives. And we always need to be aware of the equally bad potential that the Internet has.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Limitless Possibility in a Flattened World

We certainly live in an age when our wildest dreams can be realized. With so many emerging technologies driving down costs to unheard-of levels, everybody possesses the opportunity to be the next innovator of a great idea. The available resources have increased exponentially just in the last few years, and not just for a select few. Billions of people are capable of sharing information at light speeds. Bandwidth is so plentiful that we have to invent ways on how to utilize it all. Videoconferencing is quickly becoming the norm. And yet one wonders if the quality of life is any better. In India it has improved through more opportunities to do the work that we Americans want to pawn off. In a way that helps us too, since it lets us focus on the bigger problems, and the work that is more interesting. But there are always those that prefer the menial tasks that are easily outsourced. Those that lack desires to change will suffer the most as work will be harder to come across. But those that keep a positive attitude and are willing to learn, change, and grow will survive in this crazy world. The competition can be fierce seeking to come up with the next get-rich-quick scheme. However, when we work together instead of competing we can get so much more done and feel more fulfilled. Being the next billionaire would be cool, but not very likely when the principal issue is who will be the fastest in implementing his or her novel idea. Teamwork, though, benefits everyone and allows everyone to participate in a useful way.