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The Role of the Internet in Our World

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posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 10:45 PM
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First off, I'm a bit of a newbie here, so I apologize if this is the wrong forum.

My question is the following, Do you think the Internet has taken the role of liberator of the common man, or new enslaver? Is it a mix of the two?

The internet has allowed the dissemination of knowledge that may be deemed unpalatable to the ruling elite. The most telling example of this would be the online popularity of Ron Paul and the ensuing censorship on network television. Films like Zeitgeist and Loose Change allow the individual to discuss issues that those in control of the media seem to think are unnecessary. For the first time in history, an egalitarian method of communication allows a large cross section of the population to be aware of their own oppression. The internet educates human beings in ways they have never been educated.

However, in order for this beautiful entity to take up the cross of liberator, it's users must explore it to the full potential. Could it be true that the sum total of humanity's potential up to this point is Dramatic Chipmunk? Is it not enraging that our youth choose to caricature themselves on myspace, facebook, and youtube? Could it be that we, as a people, are too stupid to take a media outlet into our own control, and instead allow it to control us?

It's nice to be a voice here, it's really a great community.




posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 11:00 PM
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I think it is still evolving. We're seeing more and more efforts by "democratic" nations to censor and control information available to the masses via the internet, and the very nature of the medium means it's easier in some ways to achieve that control than ever before. Perhaps it serves as a useful tool to the more nefarious organisations out there? It's easier to see who you need to keep an eye on if they have exposed themselves to the world.

It's an interesting point you raise about the way people choose to use this tool and make their mark - personally I think the more trivial use of the internet is just an extension of what people have been doing for years with graffiti and ther forms of self absorption, it's just that it's much more visible and instantaneous now. It's a reflection on society(ies) as a whole - how many people that you run into randomly that you really want to invest some time in getting to know or hearing their point of view? I'll bet it's the minority...and the internet can be like that too.

To answer your question, I think its a bit of both with the potential to become 100% of either.

[edit on 12-8-2007 by Snappahead]



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 11:01 PM
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With the internet still in its infancy, it's difficult to even determine all the applications it will provide, let alone the direction humanity will take it.

Human civilization could not have come together without the ability to communicate with your fellow man. The internet is the most advanced form of communication to date. Governments are simply not in a position where the internet can be policed or monitored as more conventional forms of communication, at least not at this point.

Yes, it seems at times that the internet is being used for ridiculous things like Dramatic Chipmunk. You wonder where society's head is at, wasting time with things like this when so much more could be done with the internet.

But discovery isn't linear, particularly when anyone is free to explore and discover new uses. There is as much room for dramatic chipmunk as there is for b2b, education, pornography, anything the internet can do.

What will we ultimately do with the internet? I think it will ultimately provide a great open forum for people to communicate. World governments will have to play some serious catch up if we are moving toward a more Globalized society, because the internet will have to be controlled.

But you can't control it if it doesn't belong to you, and the internet is self sustaining. It is supported by everyone, belongs to no one. It'll always be the thorn in the side of the ruling body, and it'll always be our last refuge from oppression.



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 11:04 PM
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First of all welcome to ATS!
Secondly I believe the internet is here to control us but also to give us the truth.
You can get a lot of useless information on the internet but you can also
find some truth on great sites such as this very one.
It is changing the way people elect their leaders, for the good or bad.
However I have heard of some government organizations manipulating the
internet for their use, such as the CIA on wikipedia.
In the end it is our choice to believe the information fed to us or deny it.



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 11:10 PM
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I think one of the more interesting trends is the "instant expert." People read one article on Wikipedia and immediately they can discount people with doctorates. The overconfidence in our culture is outrageous.



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 11:21 PM
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Originally posted by DMSpizzirri
I think one of the more interesting trends is the "instant expert." People read one article on Wikipedia and immediately they can discount people with doctorates. The overconfidence in our culture is outrageous.


It's true, and people actually do not realize how easy organizations can
manipulate these web-sites.



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 03:04 PM
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I watched a movie about the Mayan Calendar, and they called the period from 1992 to 1999 the Planetary age. Around 1992 is when the internet went mainstream and united us as a planet. Information was shared across borders.



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 05:12 PM
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Depends whose in control, the corporation or the individual.

The ideal life is one in pursuit of laziness, easy money, love at first site, really anything that is given to use without working for it. The internet is a product of that, a mass communication network that requires a keyboard, screen, and a mouse to communicate. The next and final step would be a digital real world without us getting up from are chairs. Love, marry, and die all on the internet, now isn't that a joke. True there are pros and cons to everything, but laziness only requires the cons to be fatal for action to be taken.



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 06:29 PM
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Originally posted by BostonOrange
Depends whose in control, the corporation or the individual.

The ideal life is one in pursuit of laziness, easy money, love at first site, really anything that is given to use without working for it. The internet is a product of that, a mass communication network that requires a keyboard, screen, and a mouse to communicate. The next and final step would be a digital real world without us getting up from are chairs. Love, marry, and die all on the internet, now isn't that a joke. True there are pros and cons to everything, but laziness only requires the cons to be fatal for action to be taken.


I think even if the cons are "fatal" our laziness deters us from action. Look at how television turned out, people are misled by the major news networks to the point where we're willing to give our lives for a sham war. It's just not obvious unless someone chooses to look deeper. Even in the movies I cited in the original post as being a positive use of the medium have blatantly incorrect bits of information in them, many people will quote these as gospel because they came from a source that is allegedly more reliable than other outlets.



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 09:43 PM
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The internet as we know it is still very much in its infancy. There is even speculation as to another bubble syndrome, where professionals in certain internet-related fields may be at risk of losing their jobs as they did several years ago. The good news is that people are used to buying online at this point, and they're not going to stop. As long as the demand is there, the supply will be too.

Because the internet is still a baby with regard to how it will relate to and shape a global society, there are a lot of kinks to work out. I think good things are being done, innovative things are being done to further utilize this technology. Google has recently begun their efforts to make their search engine a universal one, thrusting vertical marketing to the forefront of online consumerism as well as Search Engine Marketers around the world. See, the big companies start things and let the little guys like us see what they can be used for.

Right now, it feels like a lot of us are using the internet for silly things. Dramatic Hamster, goofy fake commercials, commentary on a variety of subjects from people you wouldn't otherwise look at as you pass them on the street- and you still won't. There are some great and useful things we've already received from the advent of the internet, but for the most part i think we're still playing with our new toy, trying to figure out all the cool new stuff it can do.

I am serious about governments needing to step up to monitor it more, however. I am not a fan of eavesdropping or anything like that, but commerce is inevitably goingto relocate to the internet almost entirely. And, where there's money, there are criminals. Something has to be done to curtail crimes like identity theft and illegal intrusions before the internet can really be a safe place.

I work for an internet company that mainly sells barcode components and barcode-related software applications. We have a few products that appeal to criminals, like check writing software for example. We have VERY good security and don't fall victim to credit card fraud as often as some other companies, but we have to constantly be on the look-out, constantly investigate orders to be sure they're not fraud. It becomes difficult when your thief is in Vietnam, for example, but is bouncing his ip through four other countries, all of which are at odds with the United States. Before our authorities (the most advanced in the world against internet crime) gain access to the ISP's in other nations, the thief is long gone, tracks having disapeared.

So, until that is fixed i wont feel too safe.



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 09:52 AM
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The Cyfre,

I don't think the internet will ever be 'fixed'. As soon as one security hole is fixed, 5 are found. It's a constant battle.



posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 01:49 AM
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The internet is the "new frontier" in the world, never to be controlled.
Of which, full ramifications have not even come close to being realized yet. Society is in its infancy as far as "real" technology goes. We are still stumbling over creating fluency to effectively streamline our systems to create a better life. That being said, you can feel the reverberations of the net in our society, culture and informations systems, especially in the younger generations. The internet gives the common man a voice and a source that can never be taken away now that it has been given. Corporations cannot fix the internet. Nobody thinks it is broken, but them.

In the words of John from Cincinnati..."The internet is big."

I think it's the start of changes that are "big" and "huge" on a global scale that are yet to be completely actualized. But, it's getting better everyday. Just sometimes, it is hard to notice. Sometimes, it is easy.

.05 cents worth



posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 10:53 PM
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Originally posted by Equinox99

Originally posted by DMSpizzirri
I think one of the more interesting trends is the "instant expert." People read one article on Wikipedia and immediately they can discount people with doctorates. The overconfidence in our culture is outrageous.


It's true, and people actually do not realize how easy organizations can
manipulate these web-sites.


but its plain as day most of the time. its hard to imagine so many people getting tricked



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