Bruce Sterling: The Future of the Internet

“The future of the Internet lies not with institutions but with individuals. Low-cost connections will proliferate, encouraging creativity, collaboration, and telecommuting. The Net itself will recede into the background. If you’re under 21, you likely don’t care much about any supposed difference between virtual and actual, online and off. That’s because the two realms are penetrating each other; Google Earth mingles with Google Maps, and daily life shows up on Flickr. Like the real world, the Net will be increasingly international and decreasingly reliant on English.

“The Internet crawled out of a dank atomic fallout shelter to become the Mardi Gras parade of my generation. It was not a bolt of destructive lightning; it was the sun breaking through the clouds.” — Science fiction writer and futurist Bruce Sterling in his final column for Wired

This idea resonates with me because I have very little faith or confidence in institutions… and a lot of confidence in (some) individuals. And the Net allows me to find and connect with individuals in ways institutions can not.