foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world


One quarter of the world's population online!

, posted: 27-Jun-2008 10:24

Well, ok. It's not exactly one quarter of the world's population that's online yet, but it will be within the next four years according to some recent research. Surprisingly, the related discussion about it on Slashdot wonders whether this is not actually a rather small percentage.

Many respondents point out that a large percentage of the world's population doesn't even have electricity or running water and truly has other more basic needs to be concerned about, and therefore we should see online penetration to one quarter of the world's population as a rather impressive accomplishment.

I would go further: We are talking about a technology that really only became mass-market ready some 15 (or so) years ago. And yet, a quarter of the entire world's population is using it already or will be shortly.

That is actually completely astonishing. Just try to remember any other technology that has spread to 1/4 of the world population in a time of just 15-20 years? Hm? Can't think of any? Me neither.

Add to that the fact that the Internet is not only a new technology, but also has the potential to change societies and the way we view the world, communicate, break through the publishing monopoly, etc. So, it's not only technically new, but also rather revolutionary on a sociological and political level.

And it has spread to 1/4 of the entire world's population already in an incredibly short time.

Truly astonishing on every level.



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foobar's profile

 
New Zealand


  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
  • What I do: System level programming, Linux/Unix. C, C++, Java, Python, and a long time ago even Assembler.
  • What I like: I'm a big fan of free and open source software. I'm Windows-free, running Ubuntu on my laptop. To a somewhat lesser degree, I also follow the SaaS industry.
  • Where I have been: Here and there, all over the place.




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