We never like it but change happens. Change is something we really can’t control and when change comes from revolution things get really interesting. I know I throw that word around on my blog and some may not understand what I’m talking about. Well if you are reading this, then partly you do understand. Fifteen years ago what I am doing right now would not have the possibility for the audience it does now. I am not talking about simple web logging (get it, weblogging,) it’s also freedom of expression, through means of this interconnected superhighway we call the Internet and how it is changing everything. While some may think we have already seen this with things like television and radio, we have not. The missing component was control and the wrestling away control and giving it to people.
Fair Warning: Curmudgeons and Luddites might want to stop reading now.
Think about it, when have we have ever seen a time in our lives when you can see and read multiple viewpoints of the same story. Take any given story of the past week, do a simple search on your favorite search engine, and just start reading. Now someone might be quick to point out that search results are controlled, and to those I simply ask: How many search engines exist? Moreover, that is the point, in the past who could have opened up a TV station or Radio station, even at the outset who could have just made a commercial and foisted it upon the world? This is now a world without control of the few over the many. I’m not even going down the 1984 route, I’m coming from the given, that people act with good moral and ethical values. The Internet has changed all of that. Now anyone at any given time can speak their mind, with relative little or no cost but that of time.
Isn’t that what a revolution is? Let’s take it even further, this past week something I was told a long time was to come to be has come to be. The throwaway computer is now a reality with the release of the Raspberry Pi. This is a $25/35 (two flavor) computer that is no more the size of a credit card.
Add to that the video capabilities.
Beyond the entertainment capabilities, these are real world impacts this credit card size computer brings to the world.
Because of their low-cost and small size they can then be shipped to activists and NGO’s in areas where free-speech is difficult.
“This is especially useful for activist organizations, human rights organizations, any group composed of a few dozen people who need to have an internal secure communication service,” said Mr Kobeissi.
We are talking about people for the first time having freedom of speech in countries that outlaw it. I hope now you can see how revolution isn’t a word I throw around loosely. This Information Revolution is changing life on earth beyond our comprehension, even mine, in ways that will shape the next century of life and beyond. We are looking at the way we present information and conduct business being rendered obsolete to this change. Raspberry Pi is just one, there are many more like One Laptop Per Child.
Add to this that the revolution is not yet settled. In the same way very, few could have envisioned the effects of Web 2.0 (Social media) and a site like Facebook existing, so very few realize that Facebook is a thing of the present time and not the future. What is true now, will not be true a year or more down the line from now. Eventually the shaking throw the sieve will produce new realities but that time is not yet upon us.
I understand why for some this period is the scariest, even scarier then before. Before with changes like the Space Program the end results tended towards optimism. This kind of change takes a longer time to work itself out, for example, the Industrial Revolution took 100+ years. With the hyper-accelerated pace of the present state of changes, I don’t foresee this revolution taking that long. And who knows if constant, quick change itself, will be the new reality of this revolution.
So I have to ask how many people will be yelling at the kids on their “lawn” and how young the yellers will be…