Monday, 10 March 2008

The wwweb is a wwwonderful thing!

Isn't the internet just the most amazing thing you have ever seen? I am delighted on a daily basis at the things that the web allows me to do, at how it has changed my life and at how much easier it has made traveling far from home...

I sit here, in the jungle, listening to the Howler monkeys calling as dawn breaks over the Rio Dulce, and I have just placed an order for parts for our toilets from Jabsco in the UK, a new autopilot from Jersey. I have ordered books from Amazon and scented candles from Marks&Spencer in the UK.

I can access my bank accounts, pay my bills, check the news, telephone the kids, research an article or find a new recipe for anything at all. Wow!

When TBH first moved in to my little cottage we were living very simply. Growing most of our food, heating was by wood fires and I cooked on a huge kitchen range. Bam, that all changed as swiftly he 'wired' the whole place and the house hummed, literally, with computers in every room. Overnight it altered all our lives.

At first I resisted the battery of new skills that this technology insisted I master but finally I capitulated and now I just can't imagine life without being computer literate. And as for the kids... Charlotte was a natural, hacking in to computers and making them bend to her will! She went on to gain a degree in Digital Business and E-Commerce. Lucy was a games fiend and James made his first films on the system that we had at home. So it led us all down the path of computer literacy.

It's a demanding boss though! Nothing ever stays the same. New operating systems, new technologies, new tricks.

For TBH this is the breath of life. He first used computers back in the 1960's when a whole room was needed to house the hardware that made up the first powerful, 8 k, machine. How life has changed. Now he can fit the iPod in the palm of his hand and watch a selection of movies all stored on its 164gb drive. Makes you wonder where it will go next doesn't it?

On board, with access to wifi, TBH has written a fantastic new software application, written the book to accompany it, typeset the book, set up the accounting system and designed the packaging! We intend to manage the enterprise wholly using the internet and that will enable us to continue our fabulous way of life.

We Hope!

When you think of how the world has faced the developments that have changed the course of it's history , the wheel, the internal combustion engine, the telephone, you speculate on what comes next. 1984 has been and gone and many of it's predictions are now with us. We are monitored like no other generation ever has been, controlled and manipulated like none other. And yet we have this massive technology that allows us to communicate like never before.

Perhaps one would have hoped that the ability to transcend boundaries and space would have led to a greater ability to co-operate but to date that does not appear to be the case... and yet...

There are the beginnings of a movement towards open sharing of information, the voice of the common man can find a platform to allow him to be heard. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the governments and powers that be to pull the wool over the eyes of their populations. Or is it?

Within the internet lays great power, whoever masters it has command of a great deal..
If you want to know more have a look at the book 'Who controls the internet' by Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu. It is a fascinating read.

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