`There are plenty of things in the world that don't need a computer' -
Reality Check
I've been hearing this thick hyperbole for the past two years about the wonderments of the Digital Age. But there's such a gulf between the promises and the dreary reality that I face when I turn on my modem, that someone ought to call the bluff. The falsehood of the Internet is that it will provide us with close, meaningful relationships, with cheap, good information and with useful life skills. Within each one of those promises is a grain of truth, but on balance they are simply false.

Am I this antidemocratic down-on-the-Internet guy? Almost the opposite. I don't yearn for the good old days when computers were expensive and I was one of the digitati. I think it's worthwhile getting on-line--but then asking real obvious questions like, `Am I getting anything out of this?' There are plenty of things happening in the world that don't need a computer. When my computer goes down, I can live quite well for a day or a week or a month. But when my drain plugs up, hey, I can't get by for two days without a plumber. Might it not be better to teach some basic crafts and skills rather than computer literacy?

What I fear is that techies have set up so many promises that others, when they come on-line, are sure to be let down. The Internet is not the key to the future. It's not going to provide great, wonderful information. Instead, it will continue to provide a rather mundane view of our very, very mundane world.

Comments above taken from Maclean's Magazine's interview with Cliff Stoll
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