An Online Journey into the Wilderness of the Internet Age
By Ryan Crockett, 9 October 2015
Some argue that our generation exists in a dull era, that we were born too late to explore our own planet yet too early to traverse the endless reaches of space beyond. We cannot seek out exotic new lands on a seafaring voyage or lead a daring expedition into uncharted wilderness. We won’t board a starship for a quick ride to a new human colony on Mars anytime soon. Some say we have no sense of wonder, no chance for adventure, no capacity for excitement in this unoriginal age.
We disagree wholeheartedly. It’s a strange, perplexing, absolutely thrilling time to be alive!
The digital revolution has given way to a brave new world of online exploration with the advent of the internet, the greatest center of knowledge and communication we have ever known. At this very moment, we have access to the entirety of human thought at our fingertips. Today’s average smartphone is a hyper-powerful supercomputer on which you can read breaking news in real-time, study the wisdom of ancient history, or speak with face-to-face with loved ones on the other side of the globe. However, we believe our innovative scientific creativity is capable of so much more.
We can now connect with others across the globe, so can we solve the problem of economic inequality that leaves countless innocent children without food, water, or shelter? We can now study history online and learn from past mistakes, so can we end bigotry and intolerance once and for all? We share photos on social media and behold the overwhelming beauty of our boundless Earth in the palm of our hands, so why not also use this power to protect our habitat and curb the crisis of climate change? All of this is now possible, within our compassionate collective grasp.
We are not perfect, but most of us are kind and care about creating a better future for ourselves and those who come after us. We live in the most peaceful period since the dawn of humankind, fighting fewer wars than any other time in history. We are starting to harness the natural power of the sun, water, and wind with large-scale renewable energy projects. Through the power of social media, cloud computing, and digital communication, philanthropists and charitable organizations are finally uniting online and using this technology for good.
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