The personal computer has evolved from a standalone, glorified calculator/typewriter novelty into a device that connects the user to networks of shared information, knowledge, and ideas. The greatest singular contribution of the PC is it serves as an equalizer in the arena of human life.
With an online PC, everything is out in the open. There is no place to hide. People have the freedom to access information, make informed decisions, and take calibrated action.
Even the poor in purse can become rich in knowledge. One can become informally schooled online and put the dream to rise out of poverty within reach.
The sick can now research on diseases, treatments, risks, and side effects. Patients now ask their doctors more intelligent questions and somehow feel they are more likely to get the best possible results.
Leaders can no longer easily deceive their constituents. Inconsistencies in their statements and actions are now easily documented and publicized to the whole world. The political underdog can now more easily take down a person backed by the entrenched elite. Recall how President Obama used the Internet to reach and mobilize citizens who wanted change.
Unknown talents can now showcase their skills (or lack of them) on YouTube. Artists can now be judged by the online public instead of a three-judge panel acting as gatekeepers to the hearts of those seeking entertainment. Take a bow, Charice Pempengco.
The problem now is not a lack of information but overload. The key success factor is no longer ACCESS to information but SCREENING it. The person who skillfully manages his information and makes it useful will be the person who succeeds more.
Print ed: 08/09