I recently watched Danny Hillis’ talk on ted.com about having a Plan B if the Internet crashes. That reminded me of an old South Park episode “Over logging” where southpark loses internet and Randi’s struggle with life without internet. Both of them concentrate on how life would be without internet. So lets ask the hypothetical question “What if there was no internet”?
Admittedly its going to be tough the first couple of weeks. We might have to read newspapers to get the news, get out of the house to make friends, buy items at the local grocery shop. Post offices will get back into business. But its not unreasonable to expect that things will be ok. Governments and companies highly dependent on the internet might require a longer transition time but I they should be fine as well in the long term.
There are a lot of smart and not so smart people who have dedicated their lives to a career linked to the internet. They will be forced to look at other avenues to explore. After all these millennia we still dont have a decent knowledge of deep underwater exploration. The recent giant squid discovery was fascinating and who knows, James Cameron might discover something as well with his submersible. So underwater and outer space exploration might be the direct benefactors of not having internet.
For a generation whose lives have been wedded to the internet, we dont know the feeling of sitting on a motorcycle and driving off without a destination. Exploration of the unknown seems an alien concept. Maybe that will change if there was no internet. George Mallory’s views on adventure are very profound. I’m leaving you with another thoughtful ted presentation:
Ben Saunders – Why bother leaving the house