Since the beginning of time, mankind has been involved in a never-ending quest to learn more about the world in which he lives. Our natural curiosity leads us to question everything and investigate the way in which the world around us works. Human beings also have a natural tendency to want to explore and see things in the world around them which they have never seen before. It is in that sense that the Internet is a perfect extension of human nature. It is a medium which transcends boundaries and makes the world a smaller place -- much as the media of printing, radio and television did before it. But is there anything really left to explore? The very problem with having the vast expanse of the knowledge that is the Internet before us, is that even before we experience something first hand, we have already passively experienced it one way or another. For instance, we can marvel at the majesty of the Grand Canyon but we can never look upon as the people of a century ago did. They would have had no idea of what to expect, but our sense of surprise is muted by what we have already seen in pictures and videos.
Nevertheless, the Internet remains a source of great knowledge and possibility, affecting all facets of the wired citizen's life. Consider the example of the US, who have the greatest proportion of net users in the world:
-Business: The Web is impacting business from the top down. Roughly 92% of CEOs, CFOs and CIOs around the world had Net access in 1998, according to Andersen Consulting. And in Growing up Digital, Don Tapscott believes when the new generation of Internet-using kids enters the workforce, corporations and employers will be forced to become more open, less hierarchi...
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...ly great potential and I hope that it will eventually become the 'great leveller' that it has been promised to become. It truly is a medium that has the potential to let anybody voice their views and make themselves heard -- unfortunately only if the speak English. The only way we will reach the technological utopia promised by the internet is if more money and resources are spent on improving net access and computing literacy for the poor. The actual ways in which the web is viewed and navigated need to also be rethinked to facilitate access. Most of all, countries other than America need to put more into their internet infrastructures and give their netizens the firepower to compete with the US on an even playing field. It is not until other countries have caught up to the US that web content will shift and only then will the 'great leveller' live up to that name.
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