Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by KilljoyKlown, Jun 9, 2011.
What do you mean?
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The line delivered when questioned this exact thing on the BBC was that having the internet gave people information to aid them in finding means to obtain things like clean water, medical aid, and food. I can see the point, but I do agree that if none of those are available at all within reason, it does little good to have a Google map to the nearest water hole hundreds of miles away.
However, information does bring about change sometimes, as we've learned this year. For better or worse, but things won't be the same in the Arab world.
I haven't been back to Tucson in 40 years so I'll take your word for it. I know it's a real city now, not the cowboys'n'Indians wasteland it was when I left in 1960.
No one worth listening to thinks that water, food and shelter (much less peace, education, medical care and the Four Freedoms) should not be a priority. But as other members have pointed out, the Digital Era makes it absurdly cheap and easy to bring the internet to the most desolate regions. Bringing real things is more of a challenge than virtual things. But we know from experience that literacy and communication empower people, making it more difficult for their despotic leaders to keep denying them their basic human rights.
I suppose that is an advantage to the learning-impaired. But as a touch-typist I absolutely despise the cartoon-show interface that has become standard, requiring me to take my fingers off the keyboard and navigate this stupid nasty little "mouse" thingy through a series of stupid nasty little Stone Age hieroglyphics, re-learning basic hand-to-eye coordination through my trifocals and interrupting my lightning-fast data entry speed.
I can tell you don't work in the IT industry. The infrastructure required to allow billions of people to simultaneously manufacture, warehouse and transport virtual goods is complex, delicate, and insecure. It requires a huge army of experts to maintain efficiency, fix problems, and ward off attackers including national governments!
As the Post-Industrial Revolution progresses, industrial processes become almost fully automated, and virtual business that we can't even imagine becomes commonplace, the majority of the human race will become members of that IT army. Just as before the Industrial Revolution 99.999% of humans were doomed to "careers" in food production and distribution, yet today farms are mechanized and 97% of us are allowed to do other types of work--types of work that no one in 1650 could have dreamed of. Travel agent? Health club manager? Tax accountant? Truck driver? Pet sitter? Full-time career entertainer? Newscaster? Welfare eligibility worker? Medical technician? Weatherman? Seismologist? Powerplant engineer? Office supply saleswoman? Home improvement store clerk? Physical therapist?
In the end, all else still depends on food production and distribution. I think it's wonderful that there are so many other options available for employment/entertainment, yet after 6 years of securing the food supply, by choice, I can tell you that things are a lot more fragile than most folks are aware.
Everybody eats, shits and squawks, yet very few care to break a sweat or get dirt under their fingernails. Some things still require sweat equity to function.
The infrastructure that is crumbling under many major cities will not be replaced simply by disconnecting the power and hitting the reset button.
At some point, virtual WILL meet up with reality and have no difficulty in discerning the difference.
Meanwhile, I'll play with the toys too........Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
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As Skeptical said, it is easy to deliver.
But I believe it has something to do with the right to education and knowledge (ignorance is the root of all evil). The internet has become even better than a regular school, high school or even college; because you can voluntarily choose your "masters degree" Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! and for free...
The Internet cannot replace "real life personal experiences"; although there are always people who are extremists. But it can replace virtually any medium as the source of global information.
As everything in life, the danger is in the extremes.
The danger is in following the extremes. Knowing the extremes is beneficial.
Extremes always present the unknown and potential danger.
Extremists, on the other hand, are a danger of another sort.
To find the middle way, one must first determine the extremes, IMO.
Concise and succinct.
Your point is valid.
The internet is a massively powerful political force. As I have said before, the main cause of poverty and malnutrition is corrupt and self serving government. Sub Saharan Africa is a basket case, not because of colonialism, as the politically correct will assert, but because of a long series of corrupt leaders.
The internet can provide information to the people, which will inform them of the real problems and the alternatives. No political leader can rule against the consent of those being ruled. The first step is to educate the people so they know what is wrong, and what the alternatives are. This force will change the world.
These are my thoughts exactly, although more articulate and assertive than what I could provide Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!.
So Unskeptical of you Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
A good skeptic is a person who is fixated on evidence. Evidence is based on knowledge. Knowledge provides evidence, which provides the basis for the beliefs of a good skeptic.
The internet is knowledge. It is also full of bullsh!t, sadly, which means we must remain alert, but with a few smarts, we can separate the two.
As a skeptic, I accept the power of evidence. The power of knowledge. The power of the internet.
Yeap, but you said: "This force will change the world", you didn't say "This force can change the world". Which means you have faith in humanity; which means you keep an open mind (the very definition of unskeptic)...
The young are so transparent and they mostly believe you as and old person are out of touch with the current reality. Anyway when it comes to the Internet there is no convincing them you might know what you are talking about.
Question - When AARP sends out those alerts about bills coming to vote and request you to sign something that can be sent to the congress to express how you feel about it. How much easier is it for you to do it and would you if there was no convenient tool like the Internet?
Yes...but the corrupt leaders took over because they were the cronies, in many cases, of the colonials. They were just able to maintain ownership of the best bottomlands and other such advantages.
Here's a blurblet about intractable conflict that rambles a bit about such:
At any rate, I would agree it's corruption, and yes, that's an internal problem, and no we aren't always causing that corruption. But we may well benefit from it. Shell Oil was allowed to trash the Niger delta because the Ogoni are not the dominant group. Shell was able to buy off the dominant group.
And here's an element of conflict you may not have heard of...the war in the Congo...is partly due to our hunger for electronics.
..To make, among other things, laptops and cellphones...
Actually, having an open mind or not is irrelevent in relation to the definition of a skeptic. But OK. Saying "will change" was careless. Apologies.
Saying that we are partly to blame for the atrocities in the Congo due to our need to buy raw materials is like saying that I contributed to a bank robbery because I do business with the bank. Blame is and should be ascribed to the perpetrators of crimes - not to innocent parties.
And the corrupt leaders of most sub Saharan states got into power for reasons unrelated to colonialism. Often in a bloody coup.
The main contribution that colonial powers made to modern day African problems was in drawing national boundaries in the wrong place, so that they crossed tribal boundaries. In hind sight we can say that was most unwise.
No... it's more like you're buying a stolen TV set from a fence.
Rwanda and Burundi have almost no coltan, yet international companies are allowed to buy it from militias that hail from those countries. Meaning it was likely illegally mined...and the profits will be used to keep gangs of armed thugs in business.
You could only buy electronics that are ethically sourced, no conflict-minerals... but that would require ethically-sourcing electronics.
I'm for that...and people need to be made aware that this problem exists and is real in order for that option to be made available.
The drawing of boundaries wrong, that I'm generally prepared to agree with.
Ah! That can be true. And, most often, they think they know more than they actually do (the young ones, I mean).
The corrupt 1% of the population that is in economical and political power cannot exist if the remaining 99% (or the mayority of them) are not ignorant and uninformed. "They keep their bellies full and their minds empty" so they remain in power.
The Internet is the single most important agent required to change this irony of society.
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