April 2006

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David Sarnoff, founding general manager of RCA, visionary giant behind many radio advances, and spur for the technological design stallions who produced the first practical color television technology was in 1964 quoted as follows:

The computer will become the hub of a vast network of remote data stations and information banks feeding into the machine at a transmission rate of a billion or more bits of information a second. Laser channels will vastly increase both data capacity and the speeds with which it will be transmitted. Eventually, a global communications network handling voice, data and facsimile will instantly link man to machine—or machine to machine—by land, air, underwater, and space circuits. [The computer] will affect man’s ways of thinking, his means of canada drug pharmacy education, his relationship to his physical and social environment, and it will alter his ways of living… [Before the end of this century, these forces] will coalesce into what unquestionably will become the greatest adventure of the human mind.”

In a world replete with infrared and other wireless protocols, satellite communications, undersea telephone lines, and a host of other technologies along the same lines too numerous to list, viagra name it seems that from a technical standpoint David Sarnoff’s vision of ladies and viagra the communications future has largely come to pass. The array of practical applications and consumer electronics products growing as meat on this skeletal vision will not merit specific mention in this article, as it is nearly impossible to avoid hearing about them. Of greater interest is Sarnoff’s concern for the humanistic value of the technology he envisions. The areas of life Sarnoff predicts will be affected by the computer are, in fact, undergoing change. Apart from media fear-mongering regarding Myspace, prudish hand wringing over the moral blight Adultfriendfinder, or shrill, self-important pieces on “Internet addiction,” there is very little public discussion regarding the Internet’s impact on the way we think or socialize. Eliminating the Internet or making it the newest controlled substance would force those lazy pederasts back

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to the parks and schools, people looking for an Adult Friend would frequent singles bars, and Internet addicts could memorize sports statistics or something constructive. In other words, personal foibles, vices, and neuroses would likely continue with undiminished force. Finding no moral solvency through the PC or Internet’s existence or non-existence, let us turn our focus towards examining the ways in which these technologies actually extend the scope of human potential. While Sarnoff envisioned future innovations that would “coalesce into what unquestionably will become the greatest adventure of the human mind,” the actual resulting structure may less resemble a vessel than a tether. The decline of mass communications technology from a tool with great potential for informing and enriching the public mind to a common whore for vested commercial and political interests is an old and almost universal story. Witness the media mogul cum Italian prime minister cum crybaby Silvio Berlusconi’s conglomeration. Or Clear Channel Entertainment. Or Fox News, and hell, throw CNN in there, too. Tony Snow . . . Prior to World War I ham radio flourished, with people operating their own stations featuring independent content. In 1912, the US government ushered in licensing programs, and with them restrictions on broadcast range and power. Fearing that The Enemy would use the radio to destroy our way of life and steal our big-tittied granddaughters, licensing was suspended for the duration of the Great War. Throughout the development of mass communications technology, the average person has enjoyed very little opportunity to utilize TV or radio for his or her own communication. Additionally, people that think about these kinds of things detect a general lessening of conversational and social skills with each subsequent generation in this new era of communications. Like any tool, the impact of the Internet and the PC will be shaped and judged largely based on who is wielding it. The legacy of the BBS has yet to be stamped out, and to this day the Internet remains a more open medium than television or radio. Hesitating is at this stage a project whose form is familiar to most Internet users—a form that has no counterpart in other electronic media apart from college radio or public access television. This circumstance owes much to the ways in which the mode of information access on the Internet differs from that franchise viagra of other media. The search engine represents a leap forward in interactivity with mass media. It is akin to a feedback loop, whereas earlier technologies would be better described as pulses. This fact adds an additional wrinkle to benefits that advertising and propaganda have enjoyed in terms of efficacy through improvements in mass communications technology. The advent of the Internet led many to believe that now mass communications technology would enable more than the passive receipt of information. The President would give his fireside chat and you could go online and tell the whole world what you think about it. However, just as the broadcasts emitting from the world’s thousands of TV stations are not at all determined by the average viewer beyond what networks calculate he or she will watch or buy, so is the likelihood of Internet content being widely seen based largely on that content’s profitability. While Google does not accept payola—instead selecting search results on criteria that are essentially mathematical—the companies that advertise on the Internet have talented people crafting material that matches those mathematical criteria. It is search results that have replaced the television dial. Even outside the protective realm of FCC licensing, corporations have met with great success in dominating the Internet landscape. As this technology moves further and further beyond the borders of the nation that birthed it, it must be considered that its impact may carry negative consequences. As Google enters China on the heels of other Internet services, it is quickly becoming apparent that there will be little change in the way of increasing freedom of information. With the Ministry of Information having full viagra en pharmacie censor power over its search results, Google China sounds like as much fun as a Christian bookstore. Add to this Yahoo’s third known assist—with its handing over of a draft e-mail stored on a computer in Hong reputable online pharmacy australia Kong—in the persecution of thought crime, and it becomes clear that in China, the Internet is business as usual. Google’s e-mail service searches the content of its users’ e-mails and selects the most suitable advertising—advanced methodology that could from a technical standpoint easily be turned to nefarious purposes.

The company officially explains the various adjustments to its China service by saying:

“While removing search results is inconsistent with Google’s mission, providing no information (or a heavily degraded user experience that amounts to no information) is more inconsistent with our mission [—to make] all the world’s information universally available and accessible.” But with the advertising revenue (sponsored links ¹ search results) rolling in and the controversy going the way of the earlier Microsoft flap, there remains scant incentive for the company to battle the PRC down the road. Domestically, major search engines are being forced to turn over information to the government. Many will find this acceptable if it is used to help nab criminals, but this number is likely to diminish if South Dakotans can’t find out about abortion or Americans about drugs by going online. Given these potentials for abuse, it is regrettable that less stewardship is being shown by the companies whose technologies are shaping the present and future world. safe meds online pharmacy review Google showed thoughtful foresight in avoiding launching its e-mail service in China, explaining that it did not want to be in the position of handing dissidents over to the government. While we might applaud their resolution to stay bravely at the sidelines, this article’s lead quote is apparently the kind of thing Mr. Sarnoff would grunt during sex. By contrast, the best that Internet real viagra “property” Google can come up with for their corporate philosophy is some fatuous pap about being a kindly dam against pesky advertising. I gather as well that we’re all supposed to be jazzed that on paper, at least, these folks are against doing evil. Oh wait, the exact words are, “You can make money without cialis 40 mg tablets doing evil.” Damn if that isn’t the crack that drowned the village. Send Dutch boys post haste.

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An article in the New Yorker about relative poverty ran recently. I’m posting the first paragraph here:

In the summer of 1963, Mollie Orshansky, a forty-eight-year-old statistician at the Social Security Administration, in Washington, D.C., published an article in the Social Security Bulletin entitled “Children of the Poor.” “The wonders of science and technology applied to a generous endowment of natural resources have wrought a way of life our grandfathers never knew,” she wrote. “Creature comforts once the hallmark of luxury have descended to the realm of the commonplace, and the marvels of modern industry find their way into the home of the American worker as well as that of his boss. Yet there is an underlying disquietude reflected in our current social literature, an uncomfortable realization that an expanding economy has not brought gains to all in equal measure. It is reflected in the preoccupation with counting the poor—do they number 30 million, 40 million, or 50 million?”

The article goes on to discuss how poverty lines are drawn and how wealth is relative to your culture of reference. What

it doesn’t explore is something that has to do with Mr. Seibel’s previous post. Computers and internet access are the new TVs and dishwashers, they will soon be in even the most poverty stricken areas. Out of date computers have become a waste management problem and it’s only a matter of time before free wireless internet and trashed, wireless-capable PCs intersect to bring any inclined individual to the net. Most technologies are initially exclusive to the affluent, such as reading/writing, books, CD players, whatever, but then trickle down

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to be adopted by the masses. Advances such as the printing press (and perhaps now WiMAX or other large range wireless tech) help bring the price floor down to the working, and even non-working, class. This is where technology can have a transformative effect, like Dickens bringing indictments of oppressive government systems to

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the masses by selling his monthly numbers for six pence. The problem is that for these sorts of changes, the cost is not the only obstacle. A certain literacy is also needed to make use of what is otherwise a useless box of plastic and metal chips on the sidewalk. But as we see with Dickens or books in general, the saturation comes first and then the skills to make use of it. One good thing that’s come from the dot com boom is that companies now see the advantage to anticipating demand. There is no real demand for free municipal wireless; people think it’s cool but no one is foaming at the mouth. But companies like Earthlink and Google see the potential in capturing the ambivalent user. Like TV, few people miss its presence in a bar, but if it’s there, they’ll watch it.

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