An Integrated World
Thomas Friedman writes about how technology is bringing people closer and the impact it will have:
In the past three years, Google has gone from processing 100 million searches per day to over 200 million searches per day. And get this: only one-third come from inside the U.S. The rest are in 88 other languages.
VeriSign, which operates much of the Internet’s infrastructure, was processing 600 million domain requests per day in early 2000. It’s now processing nine billion per day. A domain request is anytime anyone types in .com or .net. And you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Within the next few years you will be able to be both mobile and totally connected, thanks to the pending explosion of Wi-Fi, or wireless fidelity.
Says Alan Cohen, a V.P. of Airespace, a new Wi-Fi provider: “If I can operate Google, I can find anything. And with wireless, it means I will be able to find anything, anywhere, anytime. Which is why I say that Google, combined with Wi-Fi, is a little bit like God. God is wireless, God is everywhere and God sees and knows everything. Throughout history, people connected to God without wires. Now, for many questions in the world, you ask Google, and increasingly, you can do it without wires, too.”
While we may be emotionally distancing ourselves from the world, the world is getting more integrated.
“The key point is not just whether people hate us,” says Robert Wright, the author of “Nonzero,” a highly original book on the integrated world. “The key point is that it matters more now whether people hate us, and will keep mattering more, for technological reasons. I don’t mean just homemade W.M.D.’s. I am talking about the way information technology everyone using e-mail, Wi-Fi and Google will make it much easier for small groups to rally like-minded people, crystallize diffuse hatreds and mobilize lethal force. And wait until the whole world goes broadband. Broadband a much richer Internet service that brings video on demand to your PC will revolutionize recruiting, because video is such an emotionally powerful medium.