Was the internet revolution doomed before it started?

Posted by gminks in tech history | Tagged | Leave a comment

It started with this tweet from @krishnan:

@krishnan: OH: Industrial revolution created the muscular system for the economy and internet revolution created the neural layer.

That makes sense to me, but it got me thinking……aren’t the ways of thinking that were prevalent during the industrial revolution based on the era of colonialism? And if that’s true, doesn’t that mean that our economy’s muscular and neural layers are inherently flawed?

In my gut the answer to that is yes. For the most part, no one today supports colonialism. We can see (at least in Western countries) where treating humans as extensions of machines led to inhumane treatment of workers. We enacted laws to protect workers from greedy owners.

But I cant help wondering: if these things are the backbone of the neural (Internet) layer of the economy….what societal dangers does that bring? Is that why women and minorities have such a hard time in IT? Do we (women and minorities) bring our assumptions that surely we are past the days when the good ole boy networks built and enforced the policies that built the muscular system for the economy. Is that why we are shocked into inaction when we encounter people who act like they are running a shop floor in the 1800s?

Does that muscular system that was built on top of colonialism have its own memory? Has it infected and corrupted the neural layer? Are we doomed by our diseased past?

I will be writing more about this, but it’s been surprisingly hard for me. Throwing my thoughts out there…hopefully this can get the conversation started.

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