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When I was young, I was so amazed by the Web, because I love books and thought of it as one big infinite library. I thought it would help make people less ignorant and cure stupidity (hey I was a precocious 10 year old!). Oh boy, was I wrong, especially with the Advent of social media and fake news. People are just so addicted to gossipy tales instead of learning about the world.

 

I thought we would become a big hive mind able to cure anything, but nope cats and ads...

 

On the other hand.... Maybe we are still so new to all of this that this is just a phase?

I mean... maybe?

We need a serious reform on how our data is protected and handled. Right now it's far west and lobbyists make sure it stays like this. In the coming years, data will be the center of our evolution as a human species. We more than need it.

"This is not a phase, dad... this is who I am, this is who I will always be"

-- 14 year old me

 

Yep, there is nothing I can add, you said it all.

They promised us an enlightened future and all we got was bigger close minded planet-sized hate and a digital 1984.

I still have hope that future generations will take it back and forgive us.

 
 

In my opinion, I think it was a mistake in the first place to think that internet was supposed to do only good things. It's setting such a high expectation on it, while in fact it doesn't have to, so it's not exactly a broken promise, in my opinion. Just like all technologies, it has the good and the bad. Gotta take both.

Sure, some people are just so addicted to gossipy tales instead of learning about the world, but obviously a lot of people are now less ignorant, especially the younger generations. Compared to pre-internet, I think people nowadays are more self-informed, has easier access to information. Free courses online, free-licensed e-books or Wikipedia (big infinite library like you said). Curing stupidity, of course, I was one of them that got cured! If not for internet, I would've only known things they taught in school and would've not become a web developer.

You're right, though, bringing the awareness of the bad ones is important, but in my opinion, bringing up and cherishing the good ones should also be done equally.

 

Sorry, my curse is to split hairs. If not for the internet, no one would be a web developer. (But I know what you mean.)

Hahhaha, that's a good one, didn't notice that at first πŸ˜‚

 
 
 

Do it, unless you don't have a printer, there's no impediment to hang this up IRL. 😁

 

Well, this infinite library is still here in the web. You simply clicked on the wrong link somewhere. :D

 
 
 

That software would continue to get faster and more reliable along with hardware. Lately, it is becoming abundantly clear that this is not the case.

Faster hardware is not a reason for companies to produce better/faster software. Usually it becomes a reason not to invest in good software, as many companies seem to prefer some easy-to-implement general purpose framework over deep knowledge of the hardware our software runs on.

In other words, just as you might expect, companies would rather cut costs than invest in something great.

There's just so much bloat everywhere and very few people seem to be concerned about it. Operating systems keep getting bigger and bigger with nobody reigning them in, web-based frameworks like React Native gobble up a bajillion external dependencies just to make an iPhone app, and we've got things like the LeftPad fiasco taking down major tools developers rely on daily.

This is clearly, obviously, madness, and yet it seems like there is some debate to be had here.

I think there was some promise that you wouldn't really need to understand the hardware to make great software, that you could simply live in this floaty world of magical abstractions and good software would come out the other end.

That's obviously false, and we are living each day with the broken software that mindset creates.

 
 

It’s hard to say as computer technology is in a state of constant flux and has a hyper rate of evolution. But I would say,

  1. Moore's law (now that transistors are getting extremely small, may have a solution in the future, tho)
  2. General / Sentient AI (by the early 21st century , may be achieved by the mid 21st century)
  3. And lastly but most importantly the lack of access to a free and open Internet as a human Right. There are too many place in the world which lack internet access entirely or restricted access. The biggest blow to a free and open internet is not China (although pretty bad) but Article 13 of the The European Union Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market .

EDIT: In my original comment I said the biggest blow to internet freedom was the EU but I had meant Article 13 The European Union Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.
Sorry for any confusion.πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ

 
 

Laws like β€˜article 13’ , although not directly affecting open and free internet access, could lead to strong more extreme laws which will affect open and free internet. As there is no strong opposition to these laws, also these laws have affects outside the EU borders. It may well be the beginning of over regulation.

 
 

We were on the right track until someone decided to start uploading cat videos to the internet.

 

Well, yes and no.

More like "until someone decided that all those productivity gains could really not be pocketed by workers". That started in the 80's and that's not even close to finish since we keep spending our time being distracted by cat videos.

Workers of the Internet, Unite !

 

An Easy life after doing bachelors in computer science.

 

Freedom. Then GAFAM and other corporations came and like usual, they try to control everything.

 

So far, the technology has met expectations. But as is often the case, it's the people that ruin it (current company excepted, of course). I appreciate the often introspective posts on dev.to. As is evidenced by the "what is your biggest weakness" posts, people here are willing to accept their own flaws and the flaws in others. The wider Internet would benefit greatly from being similarly introspective, as well.

Like my mom used to say, "when you're pointing the finger at someone, remember you have four more fingers pointing back at you."

 

"when you're pointing the finger at someone, remember you have four more fingers pointing back at you."

This is a strong saying, never seen that before.

 

The actual saying is that there are "three fingers pointing back at you", but my mom always said four. :-D But it's an old saying here in the US.

 

Want to insert a new Promise() joke here but can't think of any.

Promise: with this new technology we'll all save a lot of work!
Reality: we only work harder and someone up the chain is making even more money than they did before.

Promise: with this new public transport chip card it's much easier to book train tickets!
Reality: train ticket subscription services have become incredibly complex so you're almost guaranteed to pay too much.

 

Any technology that promises you can write one set of code to run on multiple platforms.

 

Do we begin with 'the paperless office' or jump straight to 'star trek'? ;-)

 

Faux-promises were broken, but anyone paying attention enough has always known the difference between someone legit & not. If you wanted to swallow it, you did. If you didn't you didn't.

The only actual thing broken is their chance of winning. If you have never had the wind in your face, it is very hard to handle when it finally arrives. Sorting hat is sorting.

It's just getting fun again.

Build some stuff because new things are on the way. Be the fixed promised. You people, right here reading this thread.

 

Old optimistic view: "The Internet will give everyone a voice!"

Present reality: "Everyone has a voice and most of these people are awful!"

 

Every new technology promises to improve the world in some way. But in the end all of them are still wielded by humans. So they are used for both good and bad. And any net positive gain eventually becomes the new normal (read: boring and unappreciated, maybe even disdained).

So I guess the main broken promise is the implicit promise that tech can improve humanity. At best it only increases the convenience factor. (Not that I mind.)

 
 
 
 
 

Information would enrich society. In reality disinformation and ruined discourse.

 

I’ve made a few small games. I always think it’s going to be easy to make the next one but it’s not and it catches me out every time!

Ah well. I enjoy the journey.

 

Work and employment would only require a connection to the internet. Cramming people into already-crowded cities would become a thing of the past.

 

Better relationships with people using internet tools like Facebook and etc.

It seems to have turned out the opposite.

 

That Nazis' wouldn't come back and use the platform to spread hate.

 

Definitely the smoke and mirrors of cryptocurrencies.. A lot of hype and lies about how revolutionary it really wasn't.

 

We were supposed to have hover cars by now.

I like what the future looked like from the perspective of the 1950s and 60s.

 
  • That smartphones & tablets were somehow going to ruin the PC market.
  • That "The Cloud" was going to be some perfect flawless solution to everything.
 
 

That it's going to speed things up.
Instead you have to buy more powerful devices.

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Ben Halpern profile image
A Canadian software developer who thinks he’s funny.

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