The Net quandary- is the online world doomed?

by Jason Gross

26 October 2007


Two scary scenarios to ponder.  Hal Crowther’s Stop the Presses article in Independently Weekly points out

“How the Internet might replace the newspaper as a source of information is never explained by those who assure you that it will,” cautions Russell Baker. “At present about 80 percent of all news available on the Internet originates in newspapers. ... No Internet company has the resources needed to gather and edit news on the scale of the most mediocre metropolitan daily.” “The Internet,” he concludes, “is basically an electronic version of the 10-year-old boy who used to toss the newspaper on the front porch: an ingenious circulation device.”

And it’s been that way for years now.  But while we increasingly rely on the Net, we don’t realize what a precarious state it might be in. Check out Lawrence G. Robe’s Routing Economics Threaten the Internet. Here he explains that the technical structure of the Internet isn’t suited to the demands that we’re placing on it now.  Robe has some solutions to the problem but the fact is that we’re hanging 21st century technology on a system that’s forty years old now and needs updating. The thought that while we pour more and more the time and effort all of us pour into the Net (i.e. this blog and millions of others, all the social networking we do, etc..) and that it’s well-being is threatened ain’t a comforting thought.

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