Friday, August 25, 2006


So when you think about it, technology has advanced so incredibly over
just the last 10 years (remember the move up to a 56K modem, huh?), that
if you really ponder it, the subject is mind-boggling.

In 1979 I had a Chevy Monte Carlo, equipped with an 8-track tape deck (a
whole 25 watts) and a CB radio. But if I needed to get in touch with
most people from the road, it involved pulling over, getting out of the
car, and walking to a pay-phone, which was attached to a wall with
WIRES. Luxury, back then would have been to find one of those phone
booths that were low to the ground, so you could call through the car
window. Car phones were barely in production, and those that were were
in the hands of very wealthy people. (Don't even get me started on
cellphones right now...)

In 2006 I have a Ford Explorer, a GPS device, a cellphone an Ipod that
transmits to an FM signal in the car radio. I also have a TMobile
Sidekick, which, should the need arise (and damn, it so often does),
would allow me to send an email anywhere I need to right from the
vehicle (NOT WHILE DRIVING, NOW!!!!).

We have technology now that allows us to transfer incredible amounts of
information, in remarkably short amounts of time. I recently downloaded
a complete text-version copy of Romeo and Juliet from the Internet
Public Library in less than a minutes.

You can buy pretty much anything you want online now, and as a matter of
fact, some companies provide items that you can only buy online. More
and more companies are offering Internet-Only special prices. Pretty
cool stuff.

Unfortunately,with progress comes problems. You can have your identity
stolen in the blink of an eye. Credit card fraud, theft, con games and
the like, are prevalent everywhere online. The advertising industry more
closely resembles a monstrous school of pirahnas on a never-ending
feeding frenzy than any type of actual organized business. On some
websites, it is nearly impossible to find the actual content of the site
through the piles and piles of ads placed on nearly every part of the

And of course, the most vile problem being that of the evil predators
that have made the Internet their base of operations. I believe that the
Web has given voice to a large segment of the population that we were
probably better off not hearing from, but such is life. Generation R (as
in Reality TV) is calling for no-holds barred, and I think that we're
reaping what we've sown. Our kids are up against threats on a daily
basis from potentially anywhere in the world. Many people have become
the most base of humans, thriving on immediate gratification of every
impulse. And they're using the Internet to ply their trade, so to

It becomes the stuff of interesting debate. Basically it comes down to a
coin flip when you argue about whether technology is a poorly managed
tool in society, or whether it should continue unabated in its

I'm not sure what I think. I know I don't want to be without the
technological abilities I have been given, but I what cost?


  1. Attempting to alter Internet "rules" is an open invitation to the ACLU to squash those possibilities. The Internet is truly a Catch-22 in so many ways.

    Much food for thought in this entry.

  2. We have this discussion so much in my education classes. How much information is "too" much. Can you assign students internet research knowing full well many of them have little-to-no parental supervision? Where do you draw the line and WHAT is a teacher to do?!!


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