Virtual Revolution

March 1, 2010 at 10:16 pm (internet) (, , , , , , )

I’ve just finished watching the BBC’s Virtual Revolution programmes.  These were presented by Aleks Krotoski and shown on 4 consecutive Saturday evenings a month or so ago.

It follows the evolution of the Internet from its humble beginnings as the ARPANET and a collection of academic networks, through the non-commercial era, to the dot-com boom and bust.  Finally, it talks about how people like Amazon and Google worked out how to make money from the Internet by exploiting out information in exchange for us using their services for free.  We get the benefits of the services and haven’t really had any negative impact, yet, from giving up our personal information to them.

The final programme looks at the whole issue of online social networks such as Facebook and looks at some of the, as yet unknown, future effects on society.

One interesting conclusion, well discussion but looking like a conclusion, is that the web seems to be encouraging more associative brain functions than linear … people prefering short, associated chunks of information rather than large, linear books.  This is one reason that many of ‘generation web’ don’t read books!

A very interesting series.



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