A Discussion on the Internet is Boon or Bane and Its Future
Heyar Brian writes the “Computing Science” column for American Scientist, the bimonthly magazine of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. In years past, he has written similar columns for Scientific American, for Computer Language and for The Sciences. He has also been an editor of science magazines. He was with Scientific American from 1972 until 1984, and with American Scientist from 1990 through 1992
The Internet is moving from a relatively passive publishing medium to a truly interactive application deployment platform. It will clearly continue to grow at a fast pace as more and more businesses and individuals discover its power. A new Internet account is added every two minutes. Whilst there is no guarantee that the businesses connecting to the Net will “make it big”, it is obvious that those which don’t will be left behind. But one thing is certain: The Internet is dynamic, will sustain high growth rates and will serve as the platform for international commerce well into the foreseeable future.
Today the Internet is a highly effective tool for communicating, for gathering information and for cooperation between dispersed locations. There is continuous development and improvement. The growing list of applications serves as testament to this: advertising, communication, shopping. banking, to name just a few. Many businesses are discovering new ways to reach their customers, new ways to improve efficiency, new products and services to sell. The future is limited only by our imagination.
The Internet needs content. In the next 10 years, somebody will figure out how to charge for information on the Net, so we won’t get things necessarily for free. That will have several good effects, including a way to pay authors for their work. And because of the economic incentive, it will become easier to filter out the good from the bad.
The Web is like a library that many people access for the sake of ease. They do this rather than go to the library. Therefore, whoever needs to get this information does not have to leave the house. It starts with information, then goes to groceries, furniture, even real estate.
Arguments can be made for the advantages and disadvantages of the Internet, but most people will agree that the Internet is a boon for technology, the likes of which have not been seen since the advent of the Personal Computer. It is not a question of whether or not the advantages of the Internet outweigh the disadvantages. Rather it is an understanding of the risks and implications of pursuing the use of this type of technology when working to achieve corporate strategic goals. Once the security problems are handled, the costs are streamlined, and the searching algorithms are perfected, the possibilities are endless.
In this article, the author emphasizes that Internet is wonder, every bit as revolutionary as the light bulb or the telephone, is going to shape all our lives in the century ahead. The Internet is as persistent as it is potent, an indelible and uncontainable presence in the culture and development and improvement.