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Futurist: How Do We Get to Internet for All?

I am a long-time Futurist, and technologist. In my career, I have spanned the birth of personal computers, to the rise of Cloud Computing.

The internet was designed as an information-sharing system.

The internet was designed as an information-sharing system.

The internet was designed to present information quickly between scientists in Switzerland.

The internet was designed to present information quickly between scientists in Switzerland.

Originally the internet was designed to share information between scientists.

As a futurist, I often consider the reality of connectivity. Let's start with the that between 2.1 and 3 billion people do not have access to the Internet globally. Another 1.1 to 1.5 billion people have limited or reduced connection to the Internet. Let's also take the reality of the Internet. I often tell people that the Internet is a vast sea. You're standing on a 50-foot platform. The Internet's water is so dark you can't see below the surface. Your job is to dive headfirst into that water. Do we do it? Most people say no, and then they tell me that's a bad analogy, but in reality, that's what it is. The Internet is a series of connected bodies of information. That body resembles the pool of water you're looking at from that 50-foot platform.

One of the things I talked about in many talks and many times on this blog and other blogs is the reality of the need for an Internet veracity engine. The problem with building an engine to determine the truth or falsehood of any statement you are reading is that the truth is sometimes subjective. You have to back the truth to its highest level. That means you need to be reading fact-based posts. But as we have seen in the last ten years, facts can easily be nuanced. But there are several things that we have to consider when we think about this thing we call the Internet, beyond simply the scarcity of information and the scarcity of facts at times. It is that connectivity question.

Let's break conductivity into two distinct buckets. The first is political, and the second is technological. Technological connectivity represents how someone can access the Internet. Political is represented by what the government does by monitoring, managing, and ultimately controlling the information its citizens see on the Internet. As a futurist, I do look at both. The reality right now to me, based on my years of experience as an IT professional, is that the political justification for accessing the Internet has changed the conversation radically. Politicians throw out the phrase everyone should have access to the Internet. But what does that mean? The next time you're in a town hall and a politician says everyone should have access to the Internet, ask them what do you mean by that? What exactly does access to the Internet mean. Because the government will want to control what you see or don't see.

The rise of information brokers will move us closer to a free internet.

The rise of information brokers will move us closer to a free internet.

First we need wireless connectivity for all. Then we need Information Brokers!

Technology to provide Internet to everyone is available today. By simply expanding the 4G LTE networks worldwide, we could provide every human being on earth with conductivity to the Internet, at least by a cell phone. The political reality is many governments would violently oppose the production of a free Internet. They want to produce controlled information. Nuanced or controlled information is probably the biggest limiter for the free Internet. I do want to point out that what we call the Internet, or what is also sometimes called the world wide web, was created by a group of scientists in Switzerland to share information. The origin of the Internet was sharing scientific information. It has morphed from that original goal considerably. However, it is not a platform for governments or the modality of controlling human beings. Control of information goes against the original design goals of the World Wide Web (WWW) sharing information.

That leads me to the fact that today's Internet issue is a connectivity issue. The issue of connectivity today is a political issue. That is why I believe that all people deserve free access to the Internet without government control. But if you give people free access to the Internet, I suspect you will see a much greater incidence of conspiracy sites. I refuse to call them the acronym conspiracy theories because not one of them is a theory. They are all, at best, guesses. The problem is we don't have that internet veracity engine. It amazes me if I consider the number of interesting conjecture-based theories I encounter on the WWW every day. The number is huge, so I always use the Trust but Verify model of internet information gathering.

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So how do we solve the problem of truly having a free Internet designed to benefit all and provide information to all equally? That is the question I chase as a futurist. Removing politically biased controls in some ways will increase the incidence of sites producing information that is at best false. However, I have a solution that I wrote about many years ago in a book I published. It is the broad concept of an information broker. That model will solve the two issues of getting information to all but ensuring that information is valid.

I talked about what an information broker could be, but I will quickly end this piece by explaining what an information broker should be. An Information Broker organization focuses on capturing and delivering information to other people. The information the broker provides you will be verified and validated. It will include sources, including the basic fact and both sides of the argument. People must learn that we have to have both sides of an argument. If we don't understand both sides, then by definition, we will be partially wrong. You may be on the side of right, but the person you think is wrong may also have valid information. The rise of information brokers will begin the process of making the Internet free-for-all. Governments should allocate tax dollars to give to the brokers to provide base information to all people. The government agrees that they would not modify or alter the information and provide money so that all citizens have access to information. I've said it many times; I stand by what I've said; we are in the age of digital transformation. When we have some information broker system in the future, all people can get access to verified and validated information; we will finally be in the information age. And the issue of conductivity will no longer be political control but instead will be technological only.

Information Brokers will help us reach our goal of a free and well, honest internet!

Information Brokers will help us reach our goal of a free and well, honest internet!

Information Brokers are the key to a future state internet where information is known good.

Technology to provide Internet to everyone is available today. By simply expanding the 4G LTE networks worldwide, we could provide every human being on earth with conductivity to the Internet, at least by a cell phone. The political reality is many governments would violently oppose the production of a free Internet. They want to produce controlled information. Nuanced or controlled information is probably the biggest limiter for the free Internet. I do want to point out that what we call the Internet, or what is also sometimes called the world wide web, was created by a group of scientists in Switzerland to share information. The origin of the Internet was sharing scientific information. It has morphed from that original goal considerably. However, it is not a platform for governments or the modality of controlling human beings. Control of information goes against the original design goals of the World Wide Web (WWW) sharing information.

That leads me to the fact that today's Internet issue is a connectivity issue. The issue of connectivity today is a political issue. That is why I believe that all people deserve free access to the Internet without government control. But if you give people free access to the Internet, I suspect you will see a much greater incidence of conspiracy sites. I refuse to call them the acronym conspiracy theories because not one of them is a theory. They are all, at best, guesses. The problem is we don't have that internet veracity engine. It amazes me if I consider the number of interesting conjecture-based theories I encounter on the WWW every day. The number is huge, so I always use the Trust but Verify model of internet information gathering.

So how do we solve the problem of truly having a free Internet designed to benefit all and provide information to all equally? That is the question I chase as a futurist. Removing politically biased controls in some ways will increase the incidence of sites producing information that is at best false. However, I have a solution that I wrote about many years ago in a book I published. It is the broad concept of an information broker. That model will solve the two issues of getting information to all but ensuring that information is valid.

I talked about what an information broker could be, but I will quickly end this piece by explaining what an information broker should be. An Information Broker organization focuses on capturing and delivering information to other people. The information the broker provides you will be verified and validated. It will include sources, including the basic fact and both sides of the argument. People must learn that we have to have both sides of an argument. If we don't understand both sides, then by definition, we will be partially wrong. You may be on the side of right, but the person you think is wrong may also have valid information. The rise of information brokers will begin the process of making the Internet free-for-all. Governments should allocate tax dollars to give to the brokers to provide base information to all people. The government agrees that they would not modify or alter the information and provide money so that all citizens have access to information. I've said it many times; I stand by what I've said; we are in the age of digital transformation. When we have some information broker system in the future, all people can get access to verified and validated information; we will finally be in the information age. And the issue of conductivity will no longer be political control but instead will be technological only.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2022 DocAndersen

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