Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Download: True Story of the Internet

Commentary by Liz

I totally agree with one of the comments made by the host John Heilemann:  communication is the number one thing in hot demand by people around the world, and the internet is increasing how fast we communicate at lightening speed on a daily basis.  The is of course zero question that companies like Google and Yahoo changed the world, but a hot topic question that persists today is individual privacy rights amidst all that communication.  I think the public is still playing catch up to technology and will continue to do so for a very long time. 

Another theme I'm reminded of by this documentary and others like it is the astonishing pattern that a number of millionaires and billionaires created by these amazing technological inventions were college dropouts.  I agree with what Vera mentioned in her blog post:  a substantial amount of middle class privilege contributed to their ability to create these amazing inventions.

However, I am also reminded of a comment by Bob Metcalfe in his Texas State presentation last year: these pioneers, including him, didn't create these things just because it was interesting.  It was purely out of necessity. What they needed did not exist yet.  The same goes for the founders of Yahoo when they were trying to beat a basketball betting pool.  And as for regulations on the internet, this is a hot topic that will not fade away soon.  Napster certainly had an example made out of it and bills like the Stop Online Piracy Act have led to related pieces of legislation floating around Congress.  Creativity should not be stifled and these bills are often far too over reaching, but who decides that? This is a question future generations will be deciding.

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