Monday, March 3, 2008

Across the Great Divide

I really enjoyed reading about the creation of the internet and ARPAnet's original purpose. I always knew the internet was created originally for the military, but Giese does an excellent job of describing how the creators of the internet broke away and followed the hacker ethic of "free information" which eventually led to the world wide web.

The digital divide is an international problem and must be considered as such in order to promote a global village(where everyone speaks the "digital language"). As is expected, third world and developing countries are behind the curve of technological advances and will be until international organizations like the UN discuss and act in a way that aids these countries. It is the global responsibility of wealthy nations to help developing countries when assimilating to new technology and communication opportunities.

Another debatable subject of pushing for internet internationally are certain governments that wish to censor and police the internet in their country in order to stifle the free flow of information certain nations' citizens receive. Countries like China, who have a tight hold on the media and information that comes in and out of the country do not share other countries' natural acceptance of the democratic nature of the internet. I argue that it is time for international policy-makers to protect the internet's integrity by allowing it to grow uncensored and unfiltered. The great thing about this new technology is that it levels the playing field so that any individual can be heard and promote their ideas. As the internet becomes accessible across the globe, peoples' right to information on the web must be protected. This and only this will ensure that the bridge we build across the digital divide will stand for generations to come.


Paul said...

nice outlook on the value of internet access and a free flow of information coming from all corners of the globe ... lemme get that 10?

Lance Strate said...

Of course, critics like Neil Postman might ask whether a society wouldn't be better off without all that technology. The problem is that it's like nuclear weapons, the effects may be harmful, but while everyone else has them, you're not going to give up your own supply. This has been modeled famously as the Prisoner's Dilemma.