Tuesday, November 15, 2005

World Wide Aneurism

There's an article in the Next supplement of today's Age, syndicated from Wired, where Kevin Kelly gets into a bit of gee-whiz technobabble forecasting:

The web continues to evolve from an entity ruled by mass media and mass audiences to one ruled by messy media and messy participation. How far can this frenzy of creativity go? Encouraged by web-enabled sales, 175,000 books were published and more than 30,000 music albums were released in the US last year. At the same time 14 million blogs were launched worldwide.

All these numbers are escalating. A simple extrapolation suggests that in the near future everyone alive will (on average) [sic] write a song, author a book, make a video, craft a weblog, and code a program. [And now for the money quote] This idea is less outrageous than the notion 150 years ago that some day everyone would write a letter or take a photograph...

Apparently, by 2015, the Internet as we know it will be gone, replaced by a world-spanning super intelligent networked Machine. I can hardly wait. I'm really looking forward to the day that I try to start my dial-up connection and the PPP-client returns an error message saying "Failed to conect to internet with error 181: Piss off I'm busy."

(According to UNESCO, there were 862 million illiterate people in the world population in 2000 CE. While it's quite possible that some, if not all, of these people have at least taken a photograph, most likely at the behest of a group of First World tourists, none of them would have written any letters.)

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