Yochai Benkler: “An increasingly larger portion of Internet use will not be conscious at all.”
That is a big shift in how we think about this thing that has connected primarily people and ideas for over a quarter of a century. As the biggest of the big Internet companies continue to compete for more of our app time, and as billions more things get connected to the Internet, the human part of the network is becoming increasingly small.
How do we maintain the conscious part of the Web? What conscious parts do we want to maintain in the first place? Do we understand, and are we content with the extent to which personalization by algorithm based on data collection is replacing human wisdom based on a rich mixture of explicit and tacit learning and, most importantly, the unpredictability of life?
The human powered Web is certainly complex and not always a positive influence. But its greatest value is it’s ability to connect ideas and experiences and dreams in ways that can both nourish and provoke. We ignore that potential in schools at our own peril, especially given the imminence of a less conscious, less human experience online.
(Image credit: Vladimir Kudinov)
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