The Cyber Revolution

Less than a quarter of a century ago, the Internet was an obscure network of large computers used only by a small community of researchers and hardly anyone imagined that the Internet would play such an important role in our lives as it does today. In fact, the very idea of a "personal computer," much less millions of them connected by a global network, seemed absurd to all but a handful of enthusiasts. Computer has created a revolution in the world not by itself as a standalone unit but also because of the penetration of Internet.

Today, the Internet is far from obscure--it's the center of attention for businesses, governments and individuals around the world. It has spawned entirely new industries, transformed existing ones, and become a global cultural phenomenon. Why is the Internet such a powerful and compelling technology? First and foremost, from its conception in the academic community to its subsequent development and commercialization by the private sector, the Internet has evolved into a uniquely independent information exchange that is able to grow organically and is built entirely on common standards. It is those common standards that helped make the Internet so successful.

The "killer application" that transformed the Internet into a global phenomenon was the World Wide Web. Developed in the late 1980s at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) , the Web was initially created to share data on nuclear physics. By incorporating user friendly visual interface and graphical "browsing" technology, the Web greatly simplifies the process of searching for, accessing, and sharing information on the Internet, making it much more accessible to a non-technical audience.

The main advantage of any new technology is that it amplifies human potential. In the 20th century, electricity, the telephone, the automobile and the airplane all made the world more accessible to more people, transforming our economy and society in the process. The Internet has the same revolutionary impact as Bill Gates, one of the pioneers of cyber age, says “The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.” Individuals and businesses can overcome geographical, cultural and logistical barriers and improve the way they live and work. It has made the world simpler, smaller and brought people closer together. It shrinks time and distance, simplifies complex business processes, and enables more effective communication and collaboration .

Although the Internet may have some great and significant impact on our lives and the way business is done, there are considerable consequences and drawbacks. On top of that list is the phenomenon of “Internet addiction disorder” which makes a person neglect his family, work and life in general. Then there is the risk of jeopardizing one’s personal privacy on the internet. The Internet has also given criminals a new media to exploit. While there are many types of Internet criminal activity, child pornography has quickly become a critical issue for the Internet.Piracy is another serious threat to any individual or business that wants to be compensated for the works they create.

Cyber revolution has left the human race with a dilemma whereby residing the power of decision to the user. Esther Dyson ,a profound journalist and commentator on emerging technology, explains this phenomenon as The Internet is like alcohol in some sense. It accentuates what you would do anyway. If you want to be a loner, you can be more alone. If you want to connect, it makes it easier to connect. ’’

Some optimists view the Internet as humanity's greatest invention while on the other

extreme, pessimists think the Internet will result in economic and cultural exploitation, the death of privacy, and a decline in values and social standards.

Objectively, it is difficult to imagine today’s world without this vital tool. It has now become an integral part of human existence but it is still in its infancy. With new technologies we are bound to become more exposed to Internet. There are some key issues that need to be overcome to realize the Internet's full potential, but although they are challenging, they are definitely not insurmountable.

I wrote this as an assignment essay and thought I should share it :)

Sized Up : Earth vs Universe

A really well made video shows how our planet earth compares to other objects in the universe in terms of size.