Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Thursday evening, I attended a lecture by Joe Peterson, Microsoft Vice-President. He was talking about the next version of Windows, code named, "Longhorn." I was interested to media-oriented nature of this new system. Interested, because I had just been pondering how my own use of the Internet has really shifted over the past few years, from searching for documents, to a much more comprehensive communication tool. Earlier in the day I was thinking about all this as I was sitting in a coffee bar in Wudaokou doing some database work on my laptop. I was connected to the high speed wireless LAN, and listening to the BBC via Windows Media Player. As I was working, a pop-up emerged, telling me that Melissa was online. I chatted with her for a few minutes, even though the time change meant that Thursday afternoon was pretty late Wednesday night where she was.

Tonight, as I write this, I am listening to a talk show from Jerusalem. The live data stream has a about a three minute delay, but that is pretty insignificant, if you consider the distance, and essentially a non-issue. My point is that the Internet has revolutionized the way people interact and communicate, and I believe the change is irreversible. Part of the change, of course, is good. But the Internet is also very, very hard to control. Is that always a good thing? I am not so sure.

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