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The Internet Bah! (Newsweek Headline)

March 24, 2008

I just happened to come across a Newsweek Article titled “The Internet, Bah! Hype Alert: Why Cyberspace isn’t, and will never be, Nirvana” The article goes into many reasons on how the internet is not going to change the world, some of my favorites.

  • The article speaks about how no online databases will replace the daily newspaper.
  • That usenet more closely resembles citizens band radio, complete with handles, harassment and anonymous threats.
  • No one wants to read a book on a disc, or take a laptop to the beach, the article even states “that you’ll soon be able to buy books and newspapers straight over the internet.”
  • The internet has become a wasteland of unfiltered data, lacking reviewers or critics. and there are even those pushing computers into schools, which the article states is a waste.
  • Cyberbusiness, the article states that we are promised instant catalog shopping, just point and click for great deals, you’ll be able to order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations, and also there isn’t even a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet.
  • The one thing missing from the electronic wonderland the internet supposedly created- human contact.

The article summarizes its view in this final sentence, “A poor substitute it is, this virtual reality where frustration is legion and where- in the holy names of Education and Progress- important aspects of human interactions are relentlessly devalued.

This article was from the February 27, 1995 issue of Newsweek, a lot sure has changed in just over 12 years. I wonder what Clifford Stoll thinks now of the internet, a quick google search led me to this wikipedia page about him, which has him selling water over the internet and teaching physics to grade school kids.