the internet by 2020

internetSeveral sites (1,2) the past few days have referred to the ‘The future of the internet II‘ report recently published by the Pew Internet & American life project (summary). The study surveyed about 750 people on their views and expectations on the evolution of the Internet with a timehorizon of 2020. Comments have been uttered about the fears and expectations being heavily scifi-induced or scifi-oriented.
From a futures studies perspective, one might be curious and wonder about the outcome of this study in case it would have been set up as a participatory scenario analysis instead of as a survey (based on a wider cultural spread of participants, with a more diverse set of themes, perspectives, impacts on and of the internet and its nature, etc.).
Perhaps more interesting than the survey itself is their site ‘Imagining the Internet, a history and forecast‘ where people can share their views on the future of the internet, featuring some interesting visions, dreams, fears, etc.

(image: CAIDA’s Walrus visualization tool; to explore the fascinating world of cyberspace cartography further, check out Martin Dodge’s site)

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