Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio won the Nobel Prize for Literature in his Nobel Lecture in Stockholm yesterday, he commented “if the Internet had existed at the time, perhaps Hitler’s criminal plot would not have succeeded — ridicule might have prevented it from ever seeing the light of day”.
It is certainly a rosy idea, that a world with more dialog and discussion would’ve prevented the carnage and slaughter that accompanied World War II and the Holocaust, but the pessimist in me thinks that technology is a neutral player when it comes to world peace. Give every child in the a world a laptop, and we’ll end up with a world just as constrained by economic, social, and ethnic divisions. Technology can certainly be used as an educational tool, but the ability to communicate does not, in and of itself, encourage communication. More eyeballs on a news story doesn’t always translate to a more reasoned discussion.