Ten years ago I started out on my own. I took a bit of a gamble – no job, two school-age children, no clients. I was an optimist.
I live in the middle of nowhere as far as the business world is concerned, and without the internet I would not be able to do my work, or even have a living. For the moment, the following statement is basically true:
“The elite have power over just about everything. The internet is a rare, untamed exception” – Truthout
Maybe I was wrong to be optimistic – but I’m still hopeful, in spite of some evidence to the contrary that the next middle class will be quite different. The latest news about state surveillance operations, here and elsewhere concerns me as well, but I think current events may help open the internet again. This just might be the beginning of the end of techno-utopia for educators, as well as the impetus for a more open internet, particularly coming from outside North America.
The internet was essential in building my business. It’s my net. Now it looks like it could become nothing more than a fishing net for any state security organization. But I’m still optimistic that things can change for the good. Connecting +2 billion people for the first time in history is going to have some emergent effects that nobody can predict or control. It’s life in perpetual Beta, for people and for institutions, no matter how powerful they may be. In the network era, I don’t take anything for granted, and neither should the elites.