Don’t think the digital world always delivers
BY LOUIS EKSTEEN
Just because the internet and its myriad machinations mostly work, it doesn’t mean it always does. Websites aren’t always available, email isn’t always received, passwords aren’t always safe, things aren’t always what they seem to be on the internet and the cloud… well, the cloud isn’t really a cloud.
In its famous cartoon about what the internet really is, a sentiment that is as true today as it’s ever been, The New Yorker depicts a world that is manipulated, distorted and not actually real. In one resounding image Peter Steiner captures a network in which it’s possible to easily pretend to be what you are not. Note that this cartoon was published as the internet was showing early signs of becoming mainstream on 5 July 1993, when one Mark Elliot Zuckerberg was only about nine years old.
And yet we are completely dependent on the internet today. This all encompassing dependence will only grow as time goes by. The internet of things (yes, it really is a thing), will just add to our collective dependence on the machines. As will driving and flying, health, finance, work and many other aspects of our future lives.