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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
bracken
12:00 PM on 03/17/2010
This may come as something of a surprise, but MANY people, especially older people (who vote in greater numbers than the young), DO NOT use the Internet. I know: I work with seniors all the time, and the fraction that surf the web is vanishingly small.

And of those that DO use the web, most use it ONLY for emailing relatives, not for reading HuffPost or Truthout or ANY of those sites. Some only use it briefly for a specific purpose, like going to the library and getting on for an hour to look up ONE thing. So much for the global impact of the Web.

If you want to have an impact, you use television. The results are plain to see. Almost everyone watches television, but far fewer use the internet, and hardly any use it to READ--one of the best ways to absorb and evaluate information.

Change TELEVISION and you'll change the landscape of discussion. Tweaking the internet won't help one whit.

(I know, I know, everyone has stories of their 93-year-old granny who posts to DailyKos--but the vast majority of seniors watch television, listen to the radio, read a newspaper, listen to their Sunday sermons, and DON'T surf the web.)
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jeffrey678
You don't happen to make it. You make it happen.
12:52 PM on 03/17/2010
I taught my older Aunts and Uncles how to use the Internet on their own computers. They email their children and can check facts. When Betsey McCaughey sent them a scary email, they fact checked it and told Betsey where to go. On Conservative Blogs they brag about going into Nursing homes to scare the residents. That is not going to work much longer, now they have Internet access too.
03:37 PM on 03/17/2010
I have to differ with you. I'm in a buisness that is becoming more dependent upon the internet. I'm sending not only emails and links but also documents for electonic signatures. 90% of my elderly clients (ages upward of 60) are keen on the utility of the internet, like the convenience, understand the system and appreciate the time savings of doing business in this way. One couple in particular live in their RV and do everything by internet while traveling all over the country. Another got rid of their land line and TV and just use WiFi and internet. You need to talk with seniors more.
11:44 AM on 03/17/2010
Yes, please give us fact checking, money trails and meaningful context all in realtime.

But, please, the cure for 24/7 connectivity is not yet another website. The cure for too much net connectivity is just like the cure for to much TV. Turn it off.
10:24 AM on 03/17/2010
"I predict that, in the future, someone will create a killer app that gauges the state of your mind, body, and spirit and automatically offers the exact steps you need to take to realign all three aspects of your being."

Cool, that sounds soooo addictive!

More seriously, I'm in favor of real-time fact checking, but of course Fox's feed will supply its own special "facts," made to order to keep their viewers in the dark.
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JustBNice
make friends with everyone
09:53 AM on 03/17/2010
The internet, It's wonderful tool and resource, but...

We need to be spending more time playing together at the park, working on projects, doing community service (I'd like to see a mandate for that) or something real, face to face, less face to the computer screen.
10:16 AM on 03/17/2010
DITTO
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Cosatjockomo
02:20 PM on 03/17/2010
First step is to toss the mark of the beast you're probably carrying right now (your cell phone)
03:40 PM on 03/17/2010
Oh, the mark of the beast, I thought that was the social security number...
No wait, I think it was the driver's license number....or maybe....well, never mind
09:49 AM on 03/17/2010
You missed out DubLi! I can't believe you did that!
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
cmaurand
09:45 AM on 03/17/2010
Wow, you really are optimistic. Unfortunately, corporations with no interest in providing those benevolent services. Without a free and open internet, none of what you propose will ever happen. Telecommunications is the number 2 industry funneling money to congress. They have shown nothing but malevolence toward their customers after gutting the telecom deregulation act of 1996. They would not have provided broadband services if it wasn't for the little guys BBS community showing that it could be done and could be done profitably. Of course those little guys who built the commercial internet have been squashed like bugs. The only ones left are the wireless providers in rural areas and soon, the government providing subsidies to telecoms who should be building out rural areas with the subsidies they already are getting (universal access fees) are going to squash them, too.
My point is that telecoms will want to close the internet and prioritize favored traffic that doesn't conflict with their interests. This is why net neutrality is needed. The provider of the pipe should not be allowed to be the provider of content.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
chemguy
Liberal, but not Democrat
04:33 PM on 03/17/2010
This is what I came here to say. New media will be taken over old power, dissenting views will be squashed and infotainment will replace education. Huffington Post itself is increasingly an example of this.
09:34 AM on 03/17/2010
I was a reporter for many years. In the "old" days it was called reporting the news. It involved background, research, fact checking, getting at least three sources for a story and yes, engaging the reader. What a concept huh? Also, opinions pieces were called editorials and labeled as such. http://newsy1.wordpress.com
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Middle Blue
What's a micro-bio?
09:12 AM on 03/17/2010
I think that the Internet will put even more emphasis on talent and creativity.

Today, people are primarily paid for their time.

In 20-30 years, there may be a price for ideas and solutions, instead of time, and nobody will care where the idea came from or how the problem was solved.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Middle Blue
What's a micro-bio?
09:07 AM on 03/17/2010
It is the unintended consequences which are the most unpredictable.

For example, US highways were originally built to move troops coast-to-coast, but the changes brought by that system went far beyond what anyone could imagine.

I think that the Internet could bring down oppressive governments entirely if people had unfettered access to it.

I think that the Internet will also feed sick minds whatever it is that they're looking for to validate their world view.

...at the same time.
08:08 AM on 03/17/2010
Let's not forget, however, that basic human needs are not going to change. Information is not knowledge, and playing computer games is not actually being there. Flying a plane via a simulator is not flying the plane. I have watched computers making an attempt at replacing human interaction and have notice a coarsening of humanity, sort of like the affects of living in a large city. Dehumanizing.
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09:31 AM on 03/17/2010
Humans will not be flying planes much longer. "Pilots" in Las Vegas are already flying armed drones all over the Middle East. So flying a simulator is literally flying the plane.

While anonymity allows for coarse comments I do not believe humanity is coarsening. Look at the response to Haiti for example.
10:14 AM on 03/17/2010
An blowing up wedding parties. That is why the CIA had reservations about drones and we have escalated the kind of technologies that can also be used against us. I recently saw a CISCO commercial where the gal visits a class room that is going to link up with a Chinese class room via satellite. Her comment to the kids was; "Wow all we ever visited was the farm" . I content that visiting the farm was more valuable than a shallow visit to the best of what China had to offer and didn't deal with the 10.8 percent of the country living on less than a dollar a day.Don't misunderstand I'm not a Luddite and I love writing code, but Machines don't conform to people, people adapt to machines and bowling with wii isn't really bowling. The drone pilots in New Jersey are accomplished pilots. Let's not get to far down the binary road, like the player piano, the camera and the stereo it clearly has limitations. Thanks for the comment, at least some people read this stuff.
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oldfuzz
...within my mind
08:01 AM on 03/17/2010
"I predict that, in the future, someone will create a killer app that gauges the state of your mind, body, and spirit and automatically offers the exact steps you need to take to realign all three aspects of your being."

That app already exists independent of the INET. It's go by many names. I call it quiescence
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Mort Twain
Mort Twain writes society's wrongs.
07:53 AM on 03/17/2010
Mel Brooks said he dated Dot Com ... they called her that for short her full name was Dottie Cominksy.

Sometimes I really wonder how much is really changing except that my daughter hasn't talked to me in two years in a complete sentence because she always has an "incoming" on one of her devices and starts tuning me out. The insurance companies and big corporate powers have the same internet tools the rest of us have plus the money is use it better so net net is this just going to be a "wash?" The more truth I discover, the more oppressors find a way around a stipulation in the law with the help and assistance of internet information and then the instant ability to connect with all their dark tentacles and block progress.

I'd like to believe the internet will change the world with information or lead to greater intuition but so far it is causing "disconnectedness" from the natural world around us and further isolating families. The Iraq War, health care abuses, and the greatest economic collapse of all time happened now, in the dot.com era, and it greatly sped up the use of financial instruments of mass destruction.

At least, after any collapse, we can go back and check emails such as they wrote to each other at Goldman Sachs, "Hey, let's hope we're all retired by the time this whole thing collapses."
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
gypsy508
11:08 AM on 03/17/2010
So true. People are still people. We just have another distraction.
07:32 AM on 03/17/2010
Arianna,
Has anyone told you lately what a beautiful mind you have?

Sammy Lee
lastpost
see biography
06:12 AM on 03/17/2010
“At the moment, we are drowning in spin, smokescreens, and lies”
The greater percentage of which, are native to our own personal internal renditions.

“people sometimes refuse to believe their own eyes”
And any magician will show and tell you how reliable eyes are?

“Instantly, a box pops up with the actual language from the bill or a tape rolls with a factual explanation of what the provision in question really does”
All hail! The real Go Compare?

“Jay Rosen writes about the need for journalists to revive the art of storytelling.”
WARNING! Be aware that the above constitutes a story (what somebody says has happened).

“Our future tool will also automatically simplify needlessly complicated laws, contracts, and linguistic smoke screens.”
Irrespective of, and not withstanding, all the small print contained in this contract. Nothing shall act to the unjustified detriment of the signatory below.

“the different sources of knowledge, wisdom, and creativity”
Observation, experience, suspicion.

“a killer app that gauges the state of your mind, body, and spirit”
Are we not presently seated before the pool we are gazing into? Often merely facing that flat facade, in contemplative reflection. Only occasionally tentatively dipping our fingers into, and agitating, that liquid quicksilver medium. What if time saw our interface up-graded? Such that the process of translation, currently acting as an intervening membrane, could be dispensed with. And we were fully immersed, at one with the entire mechanism. What then?
05:38 AM on 03/17/2010
Nice article, Arianna.

I would like to see technology that would allow me to reduce the number of channels that I must pay for from, say, Direct TV, The Dish network, or my local cable TV provider AND choose the channels I want...all at a lower price.

The result would be better programs at lower cost, I hope.
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raindrips
I really love Brussels Sprouts.
10:20 AM on 03/17/2010
I think you're going to get that. I predict in 10 years, most "broadcast" will be replaced with streaming video.. just like you can watch some shows on the internet today. That is gradually going to become more and more common. It eliminates the need for "packages", just like the internet has removed the need for printed "packages" like newspapers. You will get (buy) what shows you want.
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10:42 AM on 03/17/2010
We have the tech to do this now but the content creators will have to be weaned from the broadcast and cable teat.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
gypsy508
11:14 AM on 03/17/2010
What can't you get on the Internet today? The only reason to have cable television is for reliable reception. You can watch virtually any sporting event around the world now as well as a large variety of movie channels all for free.