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[文化博览] 【整理】2010-09-10 虚拟革命 GreatLevelling-1

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Africa, the birth place of mankind, but it’s not the past that brings me here, it’s the future. Africa has just been plugged in broad and as the world-wide-web grows and spreads across the continent it’s transforming all that it touched.
The small town of Abiriwu (Abiriu), Uganda is just one of the latest to be hooked up to the globe. I’m traveling with Sir Tim Earners (Berners) Lee, the man who invented the web. It’s 20 years since he made his breakthrough and now the divide between the digital haves and have-nots is shrinking fast. “I think the web is about connecting humanity. Now we’ve got the point that 20, 25 percent of the world are using it then suddenly the question is what about the other 80 percent?”
This community center may not look like much, but it’s the new frontier of this virtual revolution.
“It was a little bit like going back in time to when people first came across the web. We wouldn’t, in earlier (early) days have been anything like; (,) it’s presumptuous, as we say how can we make sure this gets to the furthest reaches of rural Africa.
But what exactly is it that we’ve created over the last 20 years? What does it mean? Is our wild (wired) digital world a blessing, or a curse?
If the web does take root in Africa as it has done elsewhere, then this would be the next continent to be re-shaped by the digital revolution. But how has the web affected us in the 20 years since it was created? And what does that mean for the future of the people here, and the majority of the world who aren’t yet connected?
The web is the defining technological revolution of our lifetimes. Almost 2 billion of us are now online, and in 10 years that I’ve been studying the web and writing about it as a journalist, I’ve seen it take our world and shake it apart. The web has created unimaginable wealth, yet encouraged millions to work for nothing. It’s challenged authority, yet allowed regimes to spy and censor as never before. And it’s been blamed for creating a generation of web-addicts, yet opened up new realms of knowledge. In this series, I will be meeting all the pioneers and key players, everybody from Google to Facebook, Twitter to Amazon. The people who helped bring about the seemingly unstoppable leveling of power, culture and values that’s having such an impact on all of our daily lives.
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