Bill Davidow, a high-technology industry executive and a venture investor, has written an Opinion piece in todays “Christian Science Monitor”. In it he suggests that the Internet will change our physical space in quite a dramatic way …
Today, an even bigger change is afoot. The Internet is about to change our physical space. And this change may well usher in the largest construction boom in human history.
This goes far beyond laying fiber-optic cables to reach every home. It will entail rebuilding our cities, suburbs, the places we work and shop, and our homes.
You can read it all here, so I’ll not repeat it. Where this comes from is that he has based it on his latest book, “Overconnected: The Promise and Threat of the Internet.”, so has quite obviously spent a lot of time thinking about this.
Is he right or is he wrong, only time will tell. However, what I can observe is that we are not about to all rush out flatten everything and then start afresh, thats not reality. Look back at past changes and you see a progressive accumulative change as new requirements motivated us to reuse infrastructure in different ways.
What is obvious is that a key factor in change involves the flow of information increasing. For example, writing, printing, and education for all, profoundly changed everything. As a crude example, the church once held sway and dictated what people should think and believe, but printing presses allowed reformers to distribute bibles in the language of the people so that they could read it for themselves and make up their own minds about what was and was not true.
Now we have the internet and the flow of information has greatly increased once again. It enables us to all become skeptics, no longer dependent upon the narrow pipes of information we previously had, instead we can go check, and dig up truth that would have previously been hidden from us, so construction booms aside, the real change, the more profound change is happening inside our heads and how we think about anything and everything.