A world without the Internet

  • Antisocial behaviour existed well before the Internet. The same argument was used about the telephone - that it would reduce social encounters. But it really facilitated more of them.
  • An attempt to separate the Internet from everyday life is useless. The only credible post-Internet visions are tied to civilizational collapses, such as the zombie apocalypse, global pandemics, or nuclear catastrophes.
  • If the only way to imagine a world without an Internet is to think of a world without civilization, then the Internet has become our civilization.
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Self Improvement



  • Thirty years ago, just 3 percent of Americans were online. Most of them were academics.
  • Before the web was invented, early adopters spent less than an hour a week online (mostly email.)
  • The Internet was designed to connect people with shared interests and ideas and produce more durable offline relationships. However, research on empathy shows a 40 percent decline over thirty years.
Living in an online age
  • The Internet has redefined the way we work. It has improved our lives and broadened our perspective of the world.
  • But in some cases, the digital age hasn't been as kind to workers. Some employers may use it to exploit their employees, demanding more work or longer days without paying overtime.
  • By blurring the lines between work and home life, the Internet also changed our cultural conception of patience, demanding immediate answers, or same-day delivery.

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Its designers were oriented toward academic issues and lacked the funding to build the web with a top-down, centralized structure.

They weren’t looking to monetize the internet.

They had no interest in fashioning a big, for-profit company.

They insisted that users would create the internet’s content, and foresaw that those users would become the writers, editors, publishers, and producers, The internet wouldn’t have executives. It would never go public.

We don't know what we like

We often don't like what we say we like. We come to enjoy things we thought we hated and we are poor at predicting what we will possibly like.

We can't articulate the reasons we prefer one thing over another. We often decide we like something without cause or like something that was subtly suggested.

The groundwork for a search engine

In 1963, before Arpanet, the proto-internet, and way before the launch of Google, two men sent the first known long-distance computer query.

Research engineer Charles Bourne and computer programmer Leonard Chaitin forgot about their experiment for about three decades, not knowing what it would become.

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