Reading Blog Entry 7 – “The People’s Net” (9/29/2015)

In this article, author Douglas Rushkoff narrates the ideas that became integral pieces of the identity of the Internet early on, and how business has (mostly) failed at taking control of the Internet for itself. Rushkoff begins by noting that what drew people to the Internet most effectively in its early days was not simply an access to published information and scientific research, but was centered around the connections that users were able to make with people across the globe.  Soon after the government turned the Internet over to the public, new internet-based communities, social groups, and discussion threads sprung up extraordinarily quickly. Rushkoff then describes the ways in which businesses and money-schemes wormed their way into the fabric of the internet; advertisements, e-shopping, and large corporations all attempted to take control of the Internet and use it to make a profit.  And while ads, e-shopping, large corporations, and other money-schemes are present on the internet in a large way, Rushkoff notes that the vast majority of internet traffic still revolves around open-source projects, internet communities, and the connections that the Internet has allowed us to make to our fellow human beings.

URLs:

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/does_technology_cut_us_off_from_other_people

– an article discussing the pros and cons of increased social connection potential.

– a picture depicting how different social medias keep the world connected

Discussion Q’s:

– Is there a difference in the quality of social connections when we use digital means vs. non-digital?

– Why is it that in a world of connectivity, we seem to be much less open to new perspectives and ideas?

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