Continuation from: dear-dad-why-high-tech-matters-part-i
Here’s part of Dad’s response:
I do know this: when communication was more difficult it was less pervasive, more condensed, thoughtful, and meaningful.
I agree. There is just a lot of stuff out there. Emails are often less thoughtful, less relevant, and sometimes terribly verbose. And that’s just from email you want to receive. Spam, pop-ups, and numerous other nuisances add to the clutter.
Let me steer the subject towards the influence of high tech. It has been widely voiced that President Obama’s election win was aided by online fund raising, online advertising, and his overall command of his online presence. The ability to efficiently collect money in small amounts from millions of people [I, for example, donated $25 online to him] was a big financial boost. The efficiency of email and text messaging to contact his supporters must have saved hundreds of thousands in postage, paper, and printing. Such efficiencies are a product of technology and the web.
Example #2 of technology’s influence is Google. Currently Google’s market capitalization is $102.7 billion. That puts Google solidly in the top 20 largest U.S. companies by market cap. Not bad for a company founded in 1998 and IPO-ing in 2004.
Example #3 is the social web, or Web 2.0. For me this buzz-word heavy phenomenon encompasses everything from MP3 players (and ogg players 🙂 to iPhones and other PDAs to Twitter and Facebook. Starting back in IRC and Usenet and extending through Yahoo! Groups. Facebook alone claims over 150 million active users!
I could bore you (and myself) with lots more stats about the size and scope of the Web, but I won’t. Next time I’ll tackle the bigger topic about why high tech actually matters… whether or not one considers oneself a high-tech user.
Note to self: Get Buffet quote about aviation (the high-tech of the time) being a poor investment.