There is much reflection on what is considered to be independent and free, both at the national, regional, professional and personal levels. It is about being able to make our own decisions, based, ideally, on the knowledge of the options we have in front of us at each moment, as well as their costs, consequences and effects, in the short, medium and long term.
The diffusion and popularization of technologies that allow us to have simple and instant access to an immense accumulation of information, data and knowledge, in quantities, qualities and forms that humanity has never had before, can be considered as a relevant step in the outstanding input to make conscious and independent decisions.
The role of current technologies
In addition to the fact that the production of information, data and knowledge has increased exponentially in recent years, so has the quality and variety of it, as well as the ease with which almost anyone, with the relatively available means, can also contribute to the generation of information in a discriminatory manner.
This avalanche of data, and the facility to create and disseminate information of all kinds and on all subjects that cross and develop in the minds of millions of human beings, has a double effect, at least, in the personal and professional independence of the same millions of people who receive, perceive and assimilate this immense torrent of knowledge.
On the one hand, being so well informed and receiving a good amount of information, presumably from all possible sources, without a filter or analysis that validates the quality of it, allows us, at least in theory, to know all the sides and details of a story, approach or proposal, and we can make our analysis to make our own decisions.
In this sense, we can consider that we achieve independence from official or commercial means to broaden our criteria and opt for a course of action.
However, on the other hand, and due to the application of artificial intelligence, analysis of large volumes of data, and machine learning, it is possible that the information we preferentially receive in our accounts in the various media in cyberspace may be biased towards our own hobbies, inclinations, opinions, and personal tastes.
This makes possible the continuity of our belief system, and in an extreme case, it feeds us back with what we already consider right, away from possible discrepant options.
In this second sense, then, we would be less independent in our analysis, information, knowledge and reflections, being exposed to messages and forms of presentation of information with a certain tendency, reducing our independence. We will have to be attentive and alert to this possibility in order to take advantage of the positive side of access to information.
During the month of September 2019, it will be half a century since the first connections between computers were made, under which it would later evolve into the great network of networks that many human beings know as the Internet.
Recently a group of high school students, participants of the program of Young Talents in ICT, as part of an investigation they are conducting, asked what is the definition of the Internet, which immediately provokes a series of reflections on the different meanings and concepts that this tool is for each of the planetary inhabitants, according to their approach to it.
A few of us can consider ourselves part of the group of people who live pre and post Internet, and even a few of this group, we are part of those who, due to our professions and professional and personal experiences, know the tool from historical and technological perspectives, and have followed its evolution.
Some Internet Definitions
Network of computer networks: this can be considered the primary, and fundamentally technological, definition. In fact, the English term comes from this concept, as it defines the relationship “between” the networks.
Great disordered library: the accumulation of information that is stored on the Internet, without a strict cataloguing process, makes it one of the largest repositories of cultural baggage of humanity, without a simple mechanism for retrieving all the information stored.
Social media: nowadays, many people receive news, opinions, sports and artistic events live, documentaries and reports, journalistic or amateur, through their devices connected to the Internet, leaving aside the traditional media.
Personal connection with the world: for many people, being online, connected or with the ubiquitous possibility of surfing from anywhere and at any time, is part of their way of living both their personal and professional experience.
Social networks: especially for young people who have lived most of their lives connected to the Internet, the burning concept of Social Networks, and their special way of interacting in their lives, has become synonymous with the Internet, even making them worry a little more about how they get communicated that way.
The free and open canvas: anyone who is connected can publish the fruit of their intellect or cultural and artistic skills, practically free of charge and with few limitations, including the technical skills to do so, which have been provided over the years.
The largest online academy: the possibilities of receiving education, knowing, studying and learning a wide variety of aspects, from theory to practice, through access to courses, tutorials, videos, live transmissions, diagrams, books and other resources found on the network, make the Internet a source of new experiences.
The most universal market: for years, and with a clear trend towards growth, purchases and sales of products and services, as well as any quantity and quality of exchange objects, make the Internet at the same time, showcase, store, cash desk, complaints department, complaints and returns, as well as meeting point and conclusion of negotiations.