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Sadly, the Internet Isn’t Making the World a Better Place

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posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 03:10 PM
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Regardless of your opinion, technology has improved our lives tremendously. That is as general as you can safely say the word improved because what is good for the goose, isn’t always good for the gander. Once you begin to look deeper, you will find that technology can effect individuals or a society in many different and sometimes surprising ways.


A fascinating new report from the World Bank examines the impact that these digital technologies are having around the world. It’s a sobering reminder that the spread of technology often isn’t the panacea that many hope it will be.

Source

World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends: PDF


Digital technologies have spread rapidly in much of the world. Digital dividends—that is, the broader development benefits from using these technologies—have lagged behind. In many instances, digital technologies have boosted growth, expanded opportunities, and improved service delivery. Yet their aggregate impact has fallen short and is unevenly distributed. For digital technologies to benefit everyone everywhere requires closing the remaining digital divide, especially in internet access. But greater digital adoption will not be enough. To get the most out of the digital revolution, countries also need to work on the “analog complements”—by strengthening regulations that ensure competition among businesses, by adapting workers’ skills to the demands of the new economy, and by ensuring that institutions are accountable.

The paragraph makes a good point, but my biases tend to get in the way when they start deciding whats best for the rest of the developing world. In my opinion, there is a major push for globalization and a “mark” in today's society will not come in the form of a tattoo. It will be the laws YOU let them pass, the technology that YOU allow them to make and the money YOU pay them in order to have it. Until every “beast” can be electronically “tagged” and monitored, the relentless subversion of choice and free will never cease.


The study did find positive aspects, which they call “digital dividends,” such as new economic growth and increased access to education. But it states that they are unevenly distributed, especially in developing nations. Poorer countries and individuals that lack access to the technologies will fall behind their peers, the report warns, and in some cases social inequalities could be exacerbated.

Again, the “problem” that some are seeing is if we are adopting policies and technology amongst our infrastructure they don't fully grow out of infancy until a large sweeping paradigm shift occurs in how people incorporate technology into their lives. After all, it is MY life anyway so shouldn't I tell them when I'm ready?

Why Techno-Optimism Is Dangerous


The increasing power of our technologies seems to justify the notion that if we really care about improving human well-being, we should focus on improving our technologies. That's where we are likely to find the biggest payoffs. The risks seem worth taking.

Yes, they are worth taking, but how do we decided who takes them and when? For example, some people claim that the Industrial Revolution gave us climate change. What I'd like to know is, if the companies involved and the people that ran them at the time during such explosive growth were removed or replaced by people and companies that operated with complete transparency and with our best interests as well as incorporating the effects their decisions would have on our planet, would the outcome be any different or would it have just happened at a slower pace all the same?

Do humans drive technology or does technology drive human development? I would imagine we likely start out in control, admiring our creations, improving our lives until the dependency flips and more humans are now trying to catch up with the way the rest of the world is “advancing” around them. Will there be a point when they are asked to assimilate or die?


Why might this paradoxical-sounding claim be true? An evolved feature of human minds I call hedonic normalization aligns our subjective experiences to our objective circumstances. Humans aren't like desert-dwelling kangaroos whose inflexible psychologies are unlikely to adjust to transportation to the Arctic. Our flexible psychologies permit us to not only survive but to thrive in the Arctic. If you are born into an Arctic environment, you are likely to find it normal. Your normalization to the Arctic provides the backdrop against which you judge change.

To lead the “New World”, it only seems natural that Google and Mr. Zuckerburg would be involved. Here in lies the problem… They might not be doing it because the want to, they are inherently involved due to the fact that there are only few companies in existence that can.

Google's Project Loon involves bringing “free” or heavily subsidized internet access to place where there is none. The person in charge of providing the service once the hardware is implemented is none other than Mr. Zuckerberg. Facebook's limited internet service Internet.org has previously launched in India and is already receiving its fair share of criticism.


edit on 17-1-2016 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 03:11 PM
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Groups in Indonesia, Colombia, Zimbabwe, and elsewhere join Indian counterparts in criticizing Internet.org’s practices


Today 60 people from digital-rights groups in 28 countries or regions around the world signed a joint letter to Zuckerberg criticizing many of Internet.org’s practices on fairness, privacy, and security grounds. Among them are the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Pakistan’s Digital Rights Foundation, and similar groups in Brazil, Indonesia, Uganda, and Cameroon.

People using the “internet” in these countries were often confused when using the system and felt as though they were under promised. Big government comes in and tells you that they're going to provide “free” internet with promises of economic growth and education, but what people don't realize is that they were more free without it. Here's what I find interesting...


“We have done some informal inquiries in the neighborhoods and found that people don’t realize they are only on Facebook—not on the Internet,” she says. Colombia’s government is channeling government information through Facebook’s app rather than making it available directly, she adds. “This was presented as a project meant to be an important universalization of the Internet,” she says. “But contrary to transparency principles, we have no information on the contract with Tigo, or how it came about. It’s only a few apps which they choose—and we don’t even know why or how.”

Let me make one thing clear, if it wasn't for my bias towards Facebook and Google's overbearing integration with modern society, I would've liked to see this work. The companies have grown by design in order to secure the digital future and guarantee that it does not favor the ones that it caters to. That would be you and I for those who can't follow.

Indian Companies Turn Against Facebook’s Scheme for Broader Internet Access


The new controversy comes after a recent furor in which more than a million people signed a petition asking India’s telecom authority to ban services that violate the open-access principle known as net neutrality.

I would imagine a petition grows pretty quickly in certain parts, especially when all are trying to take advantage of what has been given to them. How quick the generous act degrades into a self serving illusion of prosperity. With my conspiracy cap firmly in place, my suspicions are constantly validated.


“It is our belief that Facebook is improperly defining net neutrality in public statements and building a walled garden where the world’s poorest people can only access a limited set of insecure websites and services,” the letter published today says. “In its present conception, Internet.org thereby violates the principles of net neutrality, threatening freedom of expression, equality of opportunity, security, privacy and innovation.”

Everything that exists, is created or expressed through Internet.org MUST go through Facebook's approval process. Trying to implement this in other developing nations has been easier where people can afford internet access, giving them the ability to express themselves more freely.

If you can convince some of the poorest, heavily populated areas to adopt ONE single source of digital information, you have successfully done what has taken decades to accomplish elsewhere. Facebook will then create it's own satellite providers to give the impression that there is competition when really all roads lead back to them.

I imagine with the inclusion of A.I. and more advanced algorithms, virtual global courts will try you where you stand with Facebook acting as the judge, jury and executioner. In the future, those names will be prettied up as to sound less threatening and authoritative.


Technology is not the only thing keeping 4.3 billion people offline, though. For example, policies in India mandate that telecom companies provide coverage to poor as well as rich areas, but the government hasn’t enforced the rules, says Sunil Abraham, executive director of the Centre for Internet and Society, a think tank in Bangalore. He is also wary of Project Loon because of the way Google and other Western Internet companies have operated in developing countries in recent years. They have cut deals with telecoms in India and other countries to make it free to access their websites, disadvantaging local competitors. “Anyone coming with deep pockets and new technology I would welcome,” he says, but he adds that governments should fix up their patchy regulatory regimes first to ensure that everyone—not just Google and its partners—really does benefit.

To sum it up, fat cats with deep pockets who drive technology must be careful when trying to put their own self interest over those they are saying they're benefiting.

It is already being shown that where these systems have been deployed, it is more about providing “free” access to the providers own websites and ecosystem rather than giving unwarranted access to the actual internet itself.

I hope some crafty hacker comes along and helps level the playing field. At this point, I believe certain agenda have become too big to fail and any pushing back will only cause them to happen at a slower pace.

Thanks for reading.



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 03:16 PM
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Of course the World Bank is worried stiff.

The Internet exposes too many of their pyramid and chain letter scams.




posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 03:57 PM
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a reply to: eisegesis

The world has no bank.

Believe nothing The World Bank blathers.



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 04:22 PM
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The Internet is not a failure because all 7 billion people don't have fiber optic high-speed access to it any more than telephones are a failure because not everyone has one or modern medicine is a failure because many millions don't have access to an on-demand MRI. The Internet is not designed to make the world a completely equitable place. Suggesting this is so is throwing out the amazing amount of change the Internet has wrought already. Ask yourself what would happen to the economies of the world without it. Basically, the world as we know it would no longer function. A whole lot of people would be less well-off than they are today.

The Internet is a medium of communication. It is not responsible for what is communicated nor is it responsible for the fact there is not an RJ-45 jack in every hovel. Faulting technology for not doing what you think it ought to do fails to recognize that it is you who actually directs what the technology does.

The World Bank article is specious and silly and misses its own point.



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 05:03 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler
The Internet is not a failure because all 7 billion people don't have fiber optic high-speed access to it any more than telephones are a failure because not everyone has one or modern medicine is a failure because many millions don't have access to an on-demand MRI. The Internet is not designed to make the world a completely equitable place. Suggesting this is so is throwing out the amazing amount of change the Internet has wrought already. Ask yourself what would happen to the economies of the world without it. Basically, the world as we know it would no longer function. A whole lot of people would be less well-off than they are today.

The Internet is a medium of communication. It is not responsible for what is communicated nor is it responsible for the fact there is not an RJ-45 jack in every hovel. Faulting technology for not doing what you think it ought to do fails to recognize that it is you who actually directs what the technology does.

The World Bank article is specious and silly and misses its own point.

The internet itself isn't a failure, its the way its being brought and delivered to underdeveloped regions. A free and open internet is not designed to make the world completely equitable, but the advent of Facebook's Internet.org aims to change that.

This is the "internet" funneled through Facebook's own software and/or cellphone app. Countries ignorant to the downside of integration adopt Google and Facebook's services based on false advertising. It was found that users were only given access to a neutered form of information through Facebook itself rather than the internet you or I use.

This was not discovered until certain governments made their own inquiries after people began to complain and petition. Everybody was using a services they thought would connect them to the internet, but only let them access specific content through Facebook.

There's a big difference.


edit on 17-1-2016 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 05:23 PM
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a reply to: eisegesis

You just removed the last paragraph from your post. It said something to the effect that the world's population had to be monitored at all times in order to make decisions about the world's economy under globalization. I was about to reply to that when I discovered it was missing. My reply was going to be along the lines of "Welcome to the New World Order." To "monitor" the world's population constantly? Seriously?

Once again, it is not the fault of the Internet that it is not ubiquitous. What is communicated via the Internet is under the control of humans. It sounds very much like you would wish the Internet to be used to further a political agenda.

And that is very scary. No, thank you.



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 05:29 PM
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The other point being made is that technologies often entail hidden agendas depending on who is behind their creation.

In my opinion, the green movement is a good example of this. The rich pillage and the poor scrounge. The poor go green, buying their guilt clean, sacrificing even more while the rich get richer. Google didn't just get big by being a good search engine. There was a motive.

Only few companies in the world have the capabilities to accomplish global objectives and there is a reason for that as well. Their ideals (different than my own), are being used to usher in new ways of how the world operates. That isn't a bad thing per se, but only when it's on terms we've all had a chance to read before signing.

Do not penalize me if I "opt out" of your prefab system because I do not agree with the code of conduct. I could never justify not paying for internet service even if it was offered to me "free" using Facebook as my provider.


edit on 17-1-2016 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 05:47 PM
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a reply to: schuyler


Once again, it is not the fault of the Internet that it is not ubiquitous. What is communicated via the Internet is under the control of humans. It sounds very much like you would wish the Internet to be used to further a political agenda.

Are you kidding me? You act as though the internet was dropped into our lap from the heavens and only humans are to blame for the current way it operates. Someone gave birth to this thing and it's starting to grow up.

The "internet" is not cause and effect by design and a result of our combined output. Maybe it seemed that way at first, but net neutrality on a global scale could end up changing that.

And yes, I do believe some day we will all be monitored in one way or another. Seedy things take place on here and the governments of the world want to narrow down where you can hide.

Everything has a purpose and the little playground you an I find ourselves in was built to keep up the illusion of free will and expression. At the same time it keeps us preoccupied, monitored and contained.

Maybe you aren't as conspiracy minded as me.



edit on 17-1-2016 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 06:16 PM
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All I have to do is read the comments on Youtube videos and online news articles to know that the internet is not making the world a better place...



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 06:20 PM
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a reply to: charolais

All I have to do is read the comments on Youtube videos and online news articles to know that the internet is not making the world a better place...


Certainly not making it any smarter. Though the resources are there, it still takes critical thinking to separate the wheat from the chaff.

The internet can't do anything. It's a tool. One that is used by some in the right way, some in the wrong way, and by many who have no idea what to do with it.
edit on 1/17/2016 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 06:24 PM
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a reply to: eisegesis

I think the Internet has vastly improved our world. It has unfortunately came with a stunning side effect of transparency. It revealed that the majority of society and man in general is much less evolved than we previously thought. Most men are daft, and the Internet never was meant to improve the lives of the meek.



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 06:35 PM
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People will be the people that they are, whether in life or on the internet. It is just communicating the good or bad for people.
edit on 1/17/2016 by roadgravel because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 06:45 PM
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a reply to: Phage

Hey, how can you just drop by and not take a stab at me?

Any thoughts or did you just read the ramblings of a conspiracy nut?

The hair in your avatar suggests there is a little craziness in you.


Do you thinks Google is being used for a specific agenda? To help gather every piece of data they can extract (we give them), from our daily lives? Then use fancy algorithms to monitor any suspicious behaviors such as anti-establishment discussions in the home or a prolonged increase in heart rate, lol? How would the infamous Phage exist and express his knowledge and general distaste for ignorance? Pretty soon you know, your going to become too smart for self expression an will need to be quarantined. (Its alright, I secretly live a normal, constructive life during the day!)

Just having fun.



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 06:49 PM
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a reply to: eisegesis

I'd expect Google to keep record of the things people search to better serve it's purpose of finding those things.... twist the service they provide to your hearts content.



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 06:57 PM
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originally posted by: Aeshma
a reply to: eisegesis

I think the Internet has vastly improved our world. It has unfortunately came with a stunning side effect of transparency. It revealed that the majority of society and man in general is much less evolved than we previously thought. Most men are daft, and the Internet never was meant to improve the lives of the meek.

Another apple from the Tree of knowledge. (Information Age - Digital Era)

This new reality being only uglier and overexposed.

The era of fakery and deception. A true information war.

It did help develop our coping mechanism though!



Twist baby, twist!!



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 07:33 PM
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originally posted by: Aeshma
a reply to: eisegesis

I'd expect Google to keep record of the things people search to better serve it's purpose of finding those things.... twist the service they provide to your hearts content.

This is what I don't get about ATS lately.

In relation to the OP, Google and Facebook themselves twisted what they sold as a "complete" product. I'm not twisting, I'm reporting. The extra conspiracy stuff I add is just that...extra. Some people like to focus on that though because its easy to attack. How about actually addressing that fact that over a million people in India signed a petition for their government to investigate Facebook's phoney internet? How this "free" internet is nothing but a watered down, limited construct, designed to control and monitor the complete flow of information.

Google works differently than your current ISP does and answers to a higher power. THEIR internet will be as useful as a pair of matching left shoes. With a cellphone in everyone's hand, that "free" internet will sure sound enticing when the economy tanks. Except it wont be what people expect it to be. That is why they are slowly trying to consolidate the way we access information with websites like Wikipedia, etc.


edit on 17-1-2016 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 07:36 PM
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a reply to: eisegesis

I find you disturbingly detached, and twisted in your perception of the world. The only thing the Internet has changed for the laymen is an increased level of detachment from the natural world. The Internet has vastly improved individuals access to knowledge and boosted many businesses productivity in a number of ways. As phage said the Internet is a tool, not everyone knows how to use it, or what to use it for.



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 07:43 PM
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originally posted by: Aeshma
a reply to: eisegesis

I find you disturbingly detached, and twisted in your perception of the world. The only thing the Internet has changed for the laymen is an increased level of detachment from the natural world. The Internet has vastly improved individuals access to knowledge and boosted many businesses productivity in a number of ways. As phage said the Internet is a tool, not everyone knows how to use it, or what to use it for.

Please, we are in the Grey Area forum. Stop trying to bring me back to reality when I want to flex my inner conspiracy muscle. This is a Conspiracy website, you are in the Grey Area forum, you my friend are quite out-of-line.

Don't be so quick to judge.

I'm not as "disturbingly detached" in other forums.


I wouldn't even be on this website if I didn't have severe distrust in my government and large corporations. What are you here for, to tell people they're disturbed when someone challenges your view of the world?

Sorry to have disturbed you.

EDIT: After this post a very nice Mod moved my thread into the Education and Media forum, which makes the upper portion of this post obsolete. I kind of wished it stayed because now I have to provide evidence for my wacky claims!




edit on 17-1-2016 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 07:56 PM
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a reply to: eisegesis

When do you lose the choice to sign in to either of those websites and use them? The answer to your problem seems simple, don't use those sites. I do not use facebook. I don't care for it, it's a waste of time and energy. You can do the same, as for Google. I'm happy they pay attention to my searches. I hope they learn to find my peanut butter balloon fetish videos even faster. The whole premise of their site was to make it easier to find things by recording the users input data, then ensuring all possible hits are connected in order of their relevance. That's the purpose of a search engine.

Now, if they want to sell my nutty buttery filled balloon goodness to businesses to expand upon the growing demand I will be elated to visit them when they start showing up based on the data I willingly gave them.

I think your problems with the Internet stems from the fact you misunderstand your voluntary involvement. Websites make money from traffic and it would make sense that Google which asks nothing of you for its use would take note of the things you voluntarily enter into it asking it to serve you for free. This data is used to improve Google, increasing it's traffic and in turn your use of Google to look up strange bikini clad women covered in food stuffs playing with balloons......

God the Internet always assaulting me when I don't tell it private information, I wouldn't tell my neighbour's. ..




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