Another Internet Anniversary Causes Arianna Huffington to Prognosticate

This week marked the 25th anniversary of the dot-com designation. 81 per cent of Americans now visit five or more .com sites every day. Over the next three years alone, says Verisign,

“the Internet will see the number of users increase by 500 million to 2.2 billion worldwide, and devices accessing the Internet increase from 1.6 billion devices to 2.7 billion devices. And with the emergence of innovations like smart grids, electronic health care and radio frequency ID (RFID) tags, the Internet and associated technology systems will undergo profound changes in the next decade.”

To commemorate this momentous anniversary, a slew of  tech  and other types of writers and personages attended a conference hosted by VeriSign to talk about the future of the Internet, and Arianna Huffington, one of the attendees, blogged about it, as is her wont.  A lot of it is dreaming, but then, why not?  She envisions an ideal Internet future where a reader can be instantly provided with the “background knowledge needed to better understand the data and information being delivered as news. The powers-that-be — both political and corporate — have mastered the dark art of making information deliberately convoluted and indecipherable. For them, complexity is not a bug, it’s a feature.” Forgive me for maybe being old school, but isn’t that what we are talking about in terms of the future of journalism? She adds more vision to this – “Our future tool will also automatically simplify needlessly complicated laws, contracts, and linguistic smoke screens. So when a politician or Wall Street CEO performs the usual verbal gymnastics in an attempt to befuddle and bamboozle us, his words will immediately be translated into clear and precise language. It will be Truth 2.0.”

And finally, she envisions an app that senses when we have had too much connectivity and need to shut it all off.  This strikes me as unbelievably sad – that anyone has the feeling that we are so connected to the virtual world that we have to be reminded to connect with ourselves.


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