CS299-001 Spring 2010

The Next 5000 Days

by mfrydenberg on Apr.12, 2010, under Uncategorized

Comment on any one of these quotes from  Kevin Kelly. Use your understanding of the video as well as your personal experience to inform your thoughtful responses:

  • “It’s amazing and we’re not amazed.”  What on the Web do you take for granted?
  • “We have to get better at believing in the impossible.”  What is an example of something that seems impossible that the Web makes possible? What features of the Web make it so?
  • “Total personalization will require total transparency.” What issues around privacy and ownership of data arise as a result of living in a world where everything is connected?
  • “We are the One.” Kevin Kelly suggests the Internet is becoming a single global machine that he calls “The One” and ends the video by suggesting that “We are the One.” How are we becoming the Internet?
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10 comments for this entry:
  1. newell_pame

    “It’s amazing and we’re not amazed”… We take so many things for granted on the web, now even more so with our phones. I recently got a Droid and I am obsessed with being as connected as I can be. As Kevin Kelly explained, we have so many satellite images of the whole Earth (this was in 2007), and now in 2010, on my phone I have Google maps, which gives me turn by turn directions to anywhere I’m going. Sometimes I know how to get places, but I start to wonder if there is an easier way by using my phone to get me there. There are so many new things that the web brings to us every year. Allowing us to listen to music, watch videos, or have an instant chat with our friends while watching a TV show online. We have so many things at our instant disposal. There is no more waiting for the commercials to be over to know the score of the game, or to find out the weather, we can just head on the web and find out instantly. No one ever steps back to take a look at the amazing technology; they just expect it to immediately do what they want. The technology is rapidly growing; today we can see how my phone can recognize phone numbers just by looking at Facebook messages. Therefore, just as Kevin Kelly talks about how he “doesn’t remember anything he just Google’s it,” I just click the digits on my phone and it pulls it up as a phone number that I can call. If there is an address written in text I can simply click on writing and my phone will pull it up through Google maps and then it can further navigate me from “my location” to the specified location. We are so spoiled by today’s technology, but pretty much everyone takes it for granted.

  2. sklar_eliz

    “It’s amazing and we’re not amazed.” What on the Web do you take for granted?

    There are definitely a lot of things I take for granted on the web as I’m sure most people do. The first thing is the amount of information that is out there. If I’m interviewing for a company, I look on their website and I already have all of the information I need from case studies to employees names. Similarly, when doing research for papers, it’s so much easier to google a phrase or a word or look on the library database and automatically have a lot of sources.

    Another thing I definitely take for granted is communication. A few weeks ago, my family came over for Passover and we went on Skype and talked to our cousins in Israel. The fact that we have the ability to talk to people halfway around the world instantly and for free is amazing.
    Another aspect of communication that I take for granted is how connected everyone is. So many people are using Facebook now that if I wanted to get in contact with someone from my high school or someone I worked with, I can just find them on Facebook and send them a message. It’s amazing how connected we all are now.

    Sometimes I wish my grandmother had e-mail because I go grocery shopping for her sometimes and it would be so much easier for her to just e-mail me her list of what she needs.

  3. Artese_Anth

    A major argument that has arisen as we move to a completely connected society is if we have completely lost our privacy. Many people argue that this is the way of the future and to simple give up the fight of protecting your privacy. I believe however that if everything is connected you still have the opportunity to control your level of privacy. Just like on Facebook, where you can set privacy settings. If you don’t want something on the web, simply don’t post it to anything. This standard may hold its ground until way in the future when bits intermingle with atoms. At that point I believe it would be very hard to control because the “Machine” would actually be connected to every single thing. Ownership of data issues that arise with total transparency is if anyone really owns any data. If the web is connected to everything it will be impossible to actually own anything since it will only be bits floating in the cloud, which are easily copied.

  4. spinell_kath

    I also agree that we definitely take the web for granted. It made me think back to middle school, when we had dial-up AOL and you couldn’t talk on the phone and use the internet at the same time, unless you had a separate phone line. It seemed fast at the time, but if I had to go back and use that connection today I would be incredibly frustrated. Now, if a page doesn’t load instantaneously, I complain about how slow it is. Six or seven years ago, it would take around 15 minutes to download a single song through a program like Kazaa; now, 15 seconds would seem like a long time.

    Everything we have become accustomed to on the web is relative, and it’s easy to forget how far it has come in such a short period of time. I like going to the library occasionally, but I can’t imagine spending hours and hours scanning the shelves every time I need to write a research paper.

    After watching this video, I can’t wait to look back in a few years at how the web has evolved. I’m sure we’ll be amazed at how we managed to get by using that slow, antiquated technology from 2010.

  5. zappull_jose

    “We have to get better at believing in the impossible.” What is an example of something that seems impossible that the Web makes possible? What features of the Web make it so?

    I believe one of the most fitting examples of something that seems impossible is Google Earth. Before Google Earth, you couldn’t even imagine seeing a picture of your house from a satellite. What they have done is taken satellite images from various companies and then stitch together the pictures to create one, free flowing picture of everything on Earth. The time that it took to create it is also something that is impossible to think about. Having to stitch together ever photo by hand would take forever, but computers are now able to recognize patterns in the land and manually stitch them together.

    Google Earth also one upped its previous “impossibility” by creating street view. By taking a 360 degree camera down every street and flashing millions, maybe billions of pictures, you can literally see which way to go if you need directions to a place. I believe the next step in this impossibility would be creating something that has real time capabilities. Although we think its impossible now, just like 5000 days ago we didn’t know the capabilities of the internet.

  6. Steve Pini

    “It’s amazing and we’re not amazed.” What on the Web do you take for granted?

    I think one of the things that Kelly spoke which is amazing but we’re not really amazed is that we are building one machine in which each of our personal computers or PDA’s are windows into that machine. This machine, labeled as the web (not the Internet, but the Web), has been running for 5000 days without one second of interruption. This machine encompasses all of the information we know individually and can make intelligent connections between the information.

    One thing that I definitely take for granted is the vast amount of knowledge which can be searched and compared in less time that I can even measure. No longer do I have to travel to a library and spend time looking information up and comparing it. With one simple entry into a search engine, I can have millions and billions of records searched and their relevance compared in a matter of milliseconds and the generally the most relevant record in the world pops up first on that search engine!

    I’m not really sure I understand the concept about how pages are going to link to one another without first going through the root web server. Can someone explain this?

  7. douellette715

    “Total personalization will require total transparency”
    Many people are concerned with how much of their internet activity get stored and tracked. In today’s society, everyone’s digital dossier expands wildly every day. Every search, click, comment, or post is likely to be put in a database somewhere. With more dependence, on the web this has it pros and cons.
    The biggest pro is being able to make the web work for you. For example, my homepage is iGoogle so every time I open a new browser I can see news headlines I care about, the weather, my Twitter feed, and more. In order to do this I had to surrender my Zip Code, interests, and my account names and passwords. Now this information is out there and I have to trust that it’s not going to be shared with the world. This is a risk I’m more than willing to take because of the convenience of a personalized web. Having a web made for me makes my browsing simpler. For example, YouTube always can make an educated guess at my search because of my browsing history. The question is how far is too far. This quote instantly reminds me of a situation I was in last Christmas. I was on Overstock.com looking at lockets to add to my holiday wish list. I browsed a couple of products, e-mailed links and was on my way. Then over the next couple of weeks I noticed that a large percent of sites I was visiting had banner ads from Overstock.com suggesting the same items I had previously browsed. At first, I found it a bit creepy. I felt like my information was being used to manipulate me into buying. It becomes a question of acceptable boundaries and ethics. The information stored in the cloud is endless and can used for so many things but the backlash begins when people feel they are being violated. The dilemma is how can a happy medium be reached so people don’t get the creepy feeling that big brother is watching… and commenting.

  8. Fred

    I think the rapid progression of the web contributes somewhat to not being amazed at it. The web evolved so fast and people use it so often that its capabilities hardly have time to set in and become amazing before they’re old news.It will be interesting to see when the internet takes over tasks that we still have to do manually and what the world is like at that point.
    What if the web knew when your car needed an oil change because the car uploaded that information to the web? and then the GPS tells the web that your car is in your garage and the web finds out from your
    “web weapon of choice” (Blackberry, laptop, netbook, ipad) that you are working from home that day so the web emails Jiffy Lube Mobile who comes by your house and changes your oil and automatically sends an e-bill for $19.95 all while you were at work- on your couch.
    Or what about when you’re at work in 5 years on a sunny morning in early July messaging all your friends on the flavor of the year social networking site about your upcoming 4th BBQ/Patriotism Extravaganza and you realize you forgot to go shopping. So you shoot an email to home and your house query the database compiled by your fridge’s computer to see what you’re working with for BBQ supplies. You find out what you’re missing. Place an order to the grocery website that you want burgers, dogs, a full propane tank and plenty of frosty brews delivered to your house tomorrow morning. Now you can go to Fenway after work like you planned because the Web’s got you covered.

    How long before we’re looking back asking “Remember when we actually had to (insert mind-numbingly annoying routine here)?”

  9. Justin

    “Total personalization will require total transparency.”
    I think we are going to have to embraces the “total transparency”, that Kelly says will come with “total personalization”. If we as a society are striving for total personalization on the web then we are going to have to live with the transparency that comes with it. Because it is inevitable we are going to have to invent ways that we can protect ourselves and live with having all our information out there on the web. I think companies that are able to protect people’s information on the web are going to be in higher demand in the future. An example of such a company that protects valuable information on the web right now is PayPal, which helps prevent credit card theft on the web. I think more companies will come out to help people protect themselves. I also think that we will learn as a society to live more openly and accept more things that the web will bring to everyone’s attention.

  10. chow_kyso

    “It’s amazing and we’re not amazed.” What on the Web do you take for granted?

    1. Internet speed. Nowadays if I have to wait more than 5 seconds for a web page to load up, I get completely impatient and try refreshing the page in the hopes that it will reload faster. This is because as internet speed has gone faster, so has my standards for how long a web page should take to load. Back then when there was only dial-up, standards were different and 10-20 seconds for a page to load was normal. Of course, there would be no way to revert back to those standards.

    2. Access to Wireless Internet. During the days of dial-up, only one person in the house was allowed on the computer to surf the internet. Living with a family of 5, whom all surfed the internet often, we had to split up times during the way to allocate a fair amount of computer time to everybody. Nowadays I expect to have access to a wireless internet on my laptop anywhere I go: at a friend’s house, at a Starbucks, on a college campus. I couldn’t imagine an area that I go to that doesn’t have access to wireless internet.

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