La prochaine étape d'Internet

BERKELEY – Il y a dix ans, le monde se remettait de l'éclatement de la bulle technologique et commençait à envisager avec plus de sobriété le potentiel d'Internet. Bien que la cupidité spéculative et la peur de passer à côté de cette opportunité aient poussé à surestimer les perspectives à court terme, les considérables perspectives à long terme d'Internet n'ont jamais été remises en doute. Moi et d'autres économistes optimistes avons supposé que l'information et la communication libres devaient annoncer une ère de croissance rapide de la productivité et d'amélioration du bien-être, dans une mesure plus ou moins grande, pour tout le monde sans tenir compte des compétences, richesses, ou des origines sociales. Avons-nous dit vrai ?

À bien des égards, la révolution des technologies de l'information et des communications (TIC) a fait plus que tenir ses promesses, et bien souvent de façon imprévisible. Pour beaucoup, la véritable merveille de l'ère numérique réside dans la création d'un univers parallèle. N'importe qui avec un ordinateur portable et une connexion Internet peut bavarder avec (ou sur) ses amis virtuels, assister à des événements extraordinaires qui peuvent s'être produits ou non, ou jouer à des jeux dans un monde imaginaire d'une complexité incomparable.

Internet a créé un paysage de rêve accessible à tous et qui peut stimuler chez chacun d'entre nous les plus grands délires de l'imagination. En effet, ceux qui se moquent de la valeur de cela devraient se rappeler que depuis les chants d'Homère autour du feu sur la colère d'Achille, les rêves sont notre plus grande source de plaisir et d'inspiration.

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