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August 13, 2003

The most exciting time to be alive 

I was reading this extract from the Ross Dawson book "Living Networks":
When I was a child, a long international telephone call could easily cost 100$, so it hardly created fluid connections between people. Today networks connect close to a billion people and businesses comprise a global community that can exchange information and ideas in almost any form, easily, cheaply and instantaneously. New emerging technologies such as peer to peer and web services are now building on the fundamental transformational power of the internet to unleash the true power of connectivity. The networks are literally coming to life demonstrating all of the complexity and unpredictable behaviours of a living system. This is the most exciting time in the history of humanity to be alive, as we witness and participate in the birth of a higher order lifeform.

It reminds me of 1984 when my father at The Economist made a similar prediction in his 40 year future history of network economics and networking societies. Exciting yes but dangerous too because this is a revolution of personal freedoms of a scale that has never previously been warped by civilisation without wars. In our 2024 history, man survived to enjoy the value of diversity that such a transport revolution multiplied through great human empathy for each other, but only because we all confronted the next change challenge which we timelined as happening 2005: the gap in income and expectations between rich and poor nations became recognised as man's most dangerous problems...
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