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Why The Internet Will Fail.

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http://thenextweb.com/shareables/2010/02/27/newsweek-1995-buy-books-newspapers-straight-intenet-uh/?_escaped_fragment_=qipec#!qipec

After two decades online, I’m perplexed. It’s not that I haven’t had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I’ve met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I’m uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic.Baloney.

Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth in no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.

:lol:

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So the guy was online in 1975?

Not impossible if working in parts of academia or military. But I suspect a little creative exaggeration.

Even on the Govt. front there's been some change. Would the Arab Spring happened without the Internet? Maybe - but perhaps not quite so quickly. It's also much harder to cover up things - and access to all kinds of databases is now available which would have been impossible without the internet. Flood mapping, for example, would have likely only been available to the insurance companies without it.

Not to mention, this areas like this forum as a counterpoint to media & Govt spin. Pre-internet it would been the preserve of hard to know about, nevermind obtain, crackpot books and zines in alternative bookshops.

No excuses for the article really. Even in 1995, it would have seemed wrong headed by anyone using the web. I first started using it (alongside gopher and usenet) in summer of 93 when there were only a few dozen websites online. Perhaps I was a naive 21 year old, but from clicking on my first link on a page based in Chicago which took me to another computer's page based in Japan it was immediately obvious this was going to be massively transformative. The next year, I very briefly attempted to build my own WebOS. If only I'd stuck with that one!

Perhaps I was fortunate to be working in academia at the time as well as by 1995 I was already coming across people looking to build online learning environments and set up telecottages. By 97, I was involved in building online learning tools myself. It wouldn't be until 2012 that I became a telecommuter though!

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So the guy was online in 1975?

Research into packet switching started in the early 1960s and packet switched networks such as Mark I at NPL in the UK,[8] ARPANET, CYCLADES,[9][10] Merit Network,[11] Tymnet, and Telenet, were developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s using a variety of protocols. The ARPANET in particular led to the development of protocols for internetworking, where multiple separate networks could be joined together into a network of networks.[citation needed]

The first two nodes of what would become the ARPANET were interconnected between Leonard Kleinrock's Network Measurement Center at the UCLA's School of Engineering and Applied Science and Douglas Engelbart's NLS system at SRI International (SRI) in Menlo Park, California, on 29 October 1969.[12] The third site on the ARPANET was the Culler-Fried Interactive Mathematics center at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the fourth was the University of Utah Graphics Department. In an early sign of future growth, there were already fifteen sites connected to the young ARPANET by the end of 1971.[13][14] These early years were documented in the 1972 film Computer Networks: The Heralds of Resource Sharing.

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After two decades online, I’m perplexed. It’s not that I haven’t had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I’ve met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I’m uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic.Baloney.

Is he REALLY that far off?

Most people still work in offices and always will, sure we can have the odd day working from home but every company I've worked requires most people to be there most of the time, not for any petty reason but because that's what makes the company work.

Books and newspapers - I still much prefer the print versions and so do most people. I tried an ereader and it just wasn't as good.

Multimedia classrooms - students still got to lecture halls, and a competent teacher at the front is always the best way to learn.

Commerce - I would still say that people who do the majority of their shopping online are in a real minority.

This in particular is spot on:

Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth in no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.

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Is he REALLY that far off?

Most people still work in offices and always will, sure we can have the odd day working from home but every company I've worked requires most people to be there most of the time, not for any petty reason but because that's what makes the company work.

Books and newspapers - I still much prefer the print versions and so do most people. I tried an ereader and it just wasn't as good.

Multimedia classrooms - students still got to lecture halls, and a competent teacher at the front is always the best way to learn.

Commerce - I would still say that people who do the majority of their shopping online are in a real minority.

This in particular is spot on:

I guess a lot of people use the internet to check prices, then they might go and buy it in person. Dunno how you assess the impact of this behaviour change.

That said, would be interesting to see how many people get groceries delivered regularly, which might seperate those who do most(by value) shopping online from those who don't. Probably a very small minority as you say.

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Is he REALLY that far off?

Most people still work in offices and always will, sure we can have the odd day working from home but every company I've worked requires most people to be there most of the time, not for any petty reason but because that's what makes the company work.

Books and newspapers - I still much prefer the print versions and so do most people. I tried an ereader and it just wasn't as good.

Multimedia classrooms - students still got to lecture halls, and a competent teacher at the front is always the best way to learn.

Commerce - I would still say that people who do the majority of their shopping online are in a real minority.

This in particular is spot on:

Yes, very fair to say the vision of transformation hasn't been fully realised. Perhaps you're right and it won't be.

Online retail is clearly having an impact on the High St. Outside of the top ten DVDs/CDs/books at my local supermarket or charity shops - it's becoming more difficult to buy or rent entertainment in my local high street. A decade ago you'd walk into Woolies, WHSmith or HMV and find a much larger selection. People still need entertainment and I suspect the reduction is not purely down to more people borrowing books from libraries or enjoying a multichannel TV world. If shopping for value, prices at Asda are same online as in the shop and the £3 delivery is likely cheaper than the time/fuel/bus fare involved. As a frugal and dedicated visitor to the reduced section, I have found this the hardest mental shift to make.

I don't share your view on teaching for adults. I did my PGCE with the Open University without meeting any of my classmates or teacher. Classroom based learning often bored me - like meetings, it moves at the pace of the slowest mind. The massive growth of video/interactive online learning - even tools to aid informal learning like Wikipedia suggests change is well underway in this area. But yes, there isn't a tipping point yet - and particularly not in children. For children, the benefits of classroom based learning and coming together in a school - may outweigh the negatives for the foreseeable future.

Office based work. While I don't share the hipster view of us all working in coffee shops on wifi connections - there is definitely a shift underway for many knowledge workers. Oddly, enough I think its house and office space prices which will drive these. My company is moving to a much smaller office because of this trend. It's not uncommon for my weekly team meeting to have five people (including myself) on the video conference. The flip side, of course, is that was virtually impossible to get the technology to work in a three-way video interview with an candidate for a job here the other day. And as an almost completely home working manager - I am still regarded as something of a pioneer in my company, but I'd guess most people in the company have worked at least a month from home in the last year. I don't work in a Shoreditch internet start up either.

Newspapers and books. Again the trend is inexorable, but yes not quite completely there. We recently considered moving one of our magazines to digital only - and concluded it was simply too risky and data from peers elsewhere suggested it wasn't quite there. There will now be a digital version though to satisfy the increasing clamour for those that demand it though. Maybe it'll plateau at a minority - but I doubt it.

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The other thing to consider is that time spent behind a screen of some description is no substitute for actual human contact and never will be, but I think alot of people try to convince themselves that it is (I've been guilty of this myself, spending more time with virtual communities than real ones).

I'd rather not be able to live my whole life behind a screen, and I don't think it's a healthy ideal to pursue.

I work with a guy who sits for 8 hours a day programming and talking to no one, then goes home and plays video games all evening. No human contact at all. He's on Prozac; but I'd be depressed too if I was that isolated.

I know that's an extreme example but that's what the Internet can facilitate if your not careful.

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That's a big problem Joe, I don't condemn gamers but if it was a friend or relation doing it I would try to steer them away from it.

If you ignore the shock title, presumably a reaction to the over-hyped stories of the time then it's reasonable.

I find the internet very useful for information, (news, research, travel info) chatting about subjects where in RL I don't know enough / any people interested in such, and allowing me to work at home a day a week.

It was however hyped as something that would sweep away offices, shops and colleges. It won't, but it is a very useful complement to them.

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Is he REALLY that far off?

Fair question, to which I counter, is the 'future' he mocks the one that was actually claimed by the advocates of the Internet?

For example, he suggests that it was claimed that shops would be eliminated, and ridicules that idea - but was anyone claiming back then that shops would be replaced entirely?

The reality is, the Internet has been transformational, it some cases evolutionary, in some cases revolutionary. The transformation is still going on.

To my mind, not all of these changes have been for the good.

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Research into packet switching started in the early 1960s and packet switched networks such as Mark I at NPL in the UK,[8] ARPANET, CYCLADES,[9][10] Merit Network,[11] Tymnet, and Telenet, were developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s using a variety of protocols. The ARPANET in particular led to the development of protocols for internetworking, where multiple separate networks could be joined together into a network of networks.[citation needed]

The first two nodes of what would become the ARPANET were interconnected between Leonard Kleinrock's Network Measurement Center at the UCLA's School of Engineering and Applied Science and Douglas Engelbart's NLS system at SRI International (SRI) in Menlo Park, California, on 29 October 1969.[12] The third site on the ARPANET was the Culler-Fried Interactive Mathematics center at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the fourth was the University of Utah Graphics Department. In an early sign of future growth, there were already fifteen sites connected to the young ARPANET by the end of 1971.[13][14] These early years were documented in the 1972 film Computer Networks: The Heralds of Resource Sharing.

I know about that, and I know David Bowie released something on the early? 80`s version of the internet, and I have heard the guy from Deep Purple, Roger Glover, talking about this version being his hobby during downtime on tours in the 80`s, but the opening of the article sounds like something written now, as if the writer has been using the internet as we know it now for 20 years. I probably first used the internet somewhere in the mid 90`s because my University course decided that everyone should at least know how to log on and create passwords etc. Someone of that generation could say they have seen the birth of public awareness of the internet and it`s explosion and development, fair enough, but the article is too early to make the call.

My belief is that ultimately humans gravitate to fresh air and each other, not wires and screens, and I don`t know, but I bet internet use is down on say ten years ago, down as in hours spent at the screen per individual I mean.

Edit: Ok he is just saying "Two decades online", so that must include three geeks or scientists in different countries at the same time typing messages to each other as "being online", fair enough.

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The other thing to consider is that time spent behind a screen of some description is no substitute for actual human contact and never will be, but I think alot of people try to convince themselves that it is (I've been guilty of this myself, spending more time with virtual communities than real ones).

I'd rather not be able to live my whole life behind a screen, and I don't think it's a healthy ideal to pursue.

I work with a guy who sits for 8 hours a day programming and talking to no one, then goes home and plays video games all evening. No human contact at all. He's on Prozac; but I'd be depressed too if I was that isolated.

I know that's an extreme example but that's what the Internet can facilitate if your not careful.

Shared a flat with a guy (and others) in the 90`s, and he said once he had been up three days straight playing some computer game (and games are much more "real" and addictive now) eating coffee granules from the jar at one point to stay awake.

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Fair question, to which I counter, is the 'future' he mocks the one that was actually claimed by the advocates of the Internet?

For example, he suggests that it was claimed that shops would be eliminated, and ridicules that idea - but was anyone claiming back then that shops would be replaced entirely?

The reality is, the Internet has been transformational, it some cases evolutionary, in some cases revolutionary. The transformation is still going on.

To my mind, not all of these changes have been for the good.

Those who wanted to make money from MYSHITEBUSINESS.COM were saying shops would be eliminated, and we know what happened there :lol: People are much less sociable, communicative and interesting than they were twenty or thirty years ago IMO. When I see them glued to their phones/tablets on public transport etc doing their little "I`m busy" act I find it quite sad, the average Joe really doesn`t have to juggle so much info/communication, it is just a prop to use because they are scared of contact with others. I see people at work (we are care workers FFS!) walking about with phones/tablets/headsets while "working", it is tragic, I think some of them are quite emotionally/mentally ill. Like TV the internet is great in small doses, not so great in large doses?

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Those who wanted to make money from MYSHITEBUSINESS.COM were saying shops would be eliminated, and we know what happened there :lol: People are much less sociable, communicative and interesting than they were twenty or thirty years ago IMO. When I see them glued to their phones/tablets on public transport etc doing their little "I`m busy" act I find it quite sad, the average Joe really doesn`t have to juggle so much info/communication, it is just a prop to use because they are scared of contact with others. I see people at work (we are care workers FFS!) walking about with phones/tablets/headsets while "working", it is tragic, I think some of them are quite emotionally/mentally ill. Like TV the internet is great in small doses, not so great in large doses?

amen to that. Still resisting the smart phone purchase for these reasons.

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amen to that. Still resisting the smart phone purchase for these reasons.

It's a sense of proportion that is needed. I, too, do not own a smartphone. And I have been using mobile phones to connect PCs to data servers of one sort or another since 1985, I'm not new to mobile data technology.

I think my greatest Internet skill is being able to decide what I don't need, and filter it out or not use it.

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99% of new "tech" ideas and gadgets disappear from the World weeks after they were trumpeted as the next big thing.

TEXT was never planned to be big...it just happened due to circumstances...kids with phones who couldnt afford calls could text...it took off.

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"People are much less sociable, communicative and interesting than they were twenty or thirty years ago IMO. When I see them glued to their phones/tablets on public transport etc doing their little "I`m busy" act I find it quite sad, the average Joe really doesn`t have to juggle so much info/communication, it is just a prop to use because they are scared of contact with others."

+ 100000000 - I was on my work night out and tried talking to the gamer chap; the poor sod can't make eye contact with people when he's talking to them.

I'm not having a go as I know what social anxiety is like; but t'interweb make it easier for people to end up in that 'state'.

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amen to that. Still resisting the smart phone purchase for these reasons.

Same here. Don't bother complaining about people who spend a lot of their time on games - that's someone just doing what they want to do. Not everyone enjoys the company of other people and it's wrong to criticse them for finding something more enjoyable to do with their time. It's the lack of any ability to communicate properly amongst the ones that do that's the problem; they've started to distract themselves with their third-rate substitute and have forgotten what they're missing. I don't know why people seem to like doing that so much (a similar attitude is visible with people so keen to build crap all over the place, at least from those who actually seem to beg for it and not those saying it's a necessary evil).

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"People are much less sociable, communicative and interesting than they were twenty or thirty years ago IMO. When I see them glued to their phones/tablets on public transport etc doing their little "I`m busy" act I find it quite sad, the average Joe really doesn`t have to juggle so much info/communication, it is just a prop to use because they are scared of contact with others."

+ 100000000 - I was on my work night out and tried talking to the gamer chap; the poor sod can't make eye contact with people when he's talking to them.

I'm not having a go as I know what social anxiety is like; but t'interweb make it easier for people to end up in that 'state'.

Or it makes it easier for them to get on with their lives they way they want, instead of being pestered by people all the time. Not everyone enjoys being part of a herd.

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Online retail is clearly having an impact on the High St. Outside of the top ten DVDs/CDs/books at my local supermarket or charity shops - it's becoming more difficult to buy or rent entertainment in my local high street. A decade ago you'd walk into Woolies, WHSmith or HMV and find a much larger selection.

(snip)

Newspapers and books. Again the trend is inexorable, but yes not quite completely there. We recently considered moving one of our magazines to digital only - and concluded it was simply too risky and data from peers elsewhere suggested it wasn't quite there. There will now be a digital version though to satisfy the increasing clamour for those that demand it though. Maybe it'll plateau at a minority - but I doubt it.

It is difficult to do it in reality because it is all online. Why would you buy / rent a DVD at a high street based on what you can see on its cover, when you can buy / rent it online for the same price / cheaper, plus you get to watch a trailer and see reviews beforehand?

Newspapers and books will become fully electronic, inevitable. The youth of today don't even get their news from the BBC website, they use apps.

The other thing to consider is that time spent behind a screen of some description is no substitute for actual human contact and never will be, but I think alot of people try to convince themselves that it is (I've been guilty of this myself, spending more time with virtual communities than real ones).

I'd rather not be able to live my whole life behind a screen, and I don't think it's a healthy ideal to pursue.

I work with a guy who sits for 8 hours a day programming and talking to no one, then goes home and plays video games all evening. No human contact at all. He's on Prozac; but I'd be depressed too if I was that isolated.

I know that's an extreme example but that's what the Internet can facilitate if your not careful.

Nevertheless we are still human, which explains why we still pay extortionate sums to watch a film in the cinema with other human beings or watch live music / sports with other human beings. Techno-geeks may not fully get this, however there are moves to making virtual reality exactly just that. e.g. My link

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It is difficult to do it in reality because it is all online. Why would you buy / rent a DVD at a high street based on what you can see on its cover, when you can buy / rent it online for the same price / cheaper, plus you get to watch a trailer and see reviews beforehand?

Newspapers and books will become fully electronic, inevitable. The youth of today don't even get their news from the BBC website, they use apps.

Nevertheless we are still human, which explains why we still pay extortionate sums to watch a film in the cinema with other human beings or watch live music / sports with other human beings. Techno-geeks may not fully get this, however there are moves to making virtual reality exactly just that. e.g. My link

Until we end up living our existence entirely from our slaveboxes My link

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Until we end up living our existence entirely from our slaveboxes My link

Without wishing to pursue a sci-fi philosophy discussion, what is wrong with that? The dystopian view might be that we end up living like the humans in the Matrix, nothing more than shrivelled practically dead cadavers plugged into our own little world. My view is that eventually we may upload ourselves into electronic media living as virtual but sentient beings. This would open up all sorts of wonders to us, e.g. space travel.

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