I realise that our regular readers will be expecting the usual encouragement from this column to get serious about the Internet. Well, if a brief glance at our "briefs" this month doesnít convince you that the Internet is growing even faster than ever, then nothing will. There have been a couple of recent shows that have certainly provoked a number of stories, but this month we have had to sift through significantly more material containing mainly stories about companies "going on line," and products aimed squarely at the Internet.
Yet Esther Dyson, a US industry guru, said on the radio the other day (and yes, I was listening to it via the Internet, of course - see the item on Real-Audio), that there will continue to be people who manage to lead happy and successful lives without ever once coming into contact with the Internet. Itís a typical example of the refined commentary now coming from pundits who seek to downgrade the information revolution to being a more isolated phenomenon within the inner sanctum of IT. It might even be true for the natives of Upper Volta; but once someone has seen and felt what the Internet has to offer, Iím not so sure that they can ever easily forget just what a remarkable new resource now exists.
Maybe the notion that "ignorance is bliss" is due to be revisited by those who seek a way out of the alarming explosion of information and information systems; but although there are some who have become addicted to technology and information for its own sake, there are equally those who are coming up with more appropriate applications of both, and in the process are improving some more traditional problems. We continue to live in ever more interesting times.