互联网的下一个动作

伯克利—十年前,世界从互联网泡沫破裂后的废墟中复兴,并且开始以更冷静的目光看待互联网的潜力。尽管投机的贪婪和对错过的恐惧夸大了短期展望,但互联网广阔的长期前景从未受到过怀疑。我和其他乐观经济学家都认为,自由信息和通信将开启一个生产率迅速增长、福利迅速改善的时代,并且所有人都能或多或少地从总获益,不管他有多少技能和财富,有怎样的社会背景。我们是对是错?

从很多方面看,信息和通信技术革命所带来的东西超过了预期——并且是以无法预测的形式实现的。对许多人来说,数字时代的真正令人惊奇之处在于它创造了一个平行宇宙。任何人,只要拥有一台笔记本电脑和互联网接入,就可以与虚拟朋友对话(或谈论虚拟朋友);就可以见证可能发生也可能没有发生的重大事件;就可以在无比复杂的虚拟世界中玩游戏。

互联网创造了一个幻境,任何人都可以走进其中,并刺激我们实现更高的现象里。事实上,任何对这一价值嗤之以鼻的人都应该想一想,从荷马在篝火旁吟唱阿克琉斯的传说开始,梦想就一直是我们的快乐和灵感之源。

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