While reading The AppsLab, I came across this article:

The Wall Street Journal: Does the Internet Make You Smarter?

I agree with Jake in that this was an interesting article.  One of the other patterns that I saw in Clay Shirky’s examples is that the technology breaks monopolies.  The printing press helped break the monopoly in the church world.  Now, we have the freedom to choose the church or Denomination that we think is correct.  We are not longer to restricted to only the ideas of the Catholic church.

The same is true with telephone service.  When I was younger, we had only one option.  For us, it was Verizon.  When they would bill us for the first half of the month ahead of time and make adjustments for the next month, we had to put up with it.  Then, as cellphones became more mainstream, people began to use them instead of their main telephone number at home.  Next, IP phone services such as Vonage and Skype came into play.  Now, we have a number of options.  First, I can either choose Verizon or Brighthouse and include phone service with our Internet or Cable service.  Or, I can simply use my cell phone all the time.  Or, I could sign up for Internet service only and use one of the IP services to call over the Internet.

I like what Clay said about the training part.  We had to train our children to read and take advantage of the books.  The same is true with the Internet, telephone service, or any technology.  We need to train our children to use these tools correctly.  I believe the key is family.  Schools, churches, and organizations can take some that training task, but the family is the most effective.  We should do all we can to support families and make them effective in providing that training.

To me, the fun part is seeing what all that innovation brings.  Thinking back on my grandparents’ lifetimes and the changes in technology they must have seen is amazing.  I have already seen a good number of changes in my lifetime, and I am excited to see more.  Maybe I will even get the opportunity to influence some of those changes.

1 Comment

Jake · June 11, 2010 at 11:49 am

Clay Shirky always has something interesting to say, and whatever it is, it usually leads to expansion, as you’ve done. Good point about training, although it’s not just children 🙂 Using reading as a parallel, imagine if words had appeared in the 1990s and only a few of us could read. Scary to think of interwebs in those terms.

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