Years ago (in 1998) I wrote that the Internet will change our lives in ways we can not yet even imagine. It has and will continue to do so. The linked article is a philosophical examination of how the Internet compares to previous communication revolutions (like the printing press) and how it may change our future.
An argument can be made, and so I will make it here, that the invention of the Internet is the under-recognized revolution of our time. The world-changing technology of the Internet, of course, is already apparent and barely needs retelling. The Internet is more significant than the telephone, the television, the transistor, or the personal computer because it subsumes all these prior inventions into a new accumulation that is greater than the sum of its parts. As the network of networks—the “inter-network”—the Internet is a revolution of revolutions.
Yet while we appreciate the Internet’s technological wonders, the cultural landscape it leads to is less explored. We acknowledge the Internet’s effect on information but are less considering of its influence on us.