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Reaction Paper to Zittrain`s “The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It”

The development of Internet in the late 20th – early 21st centuries have changed the society and the traditionally lifestyle of people worldwide. The impact of Internet on the life of modern people can hardly be underestimated but often effects of Internet on human consciousness and the lifestyle of people are unclear or one-sided. In this respect, it is possible to refer to the book “The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It” by Jonathan Zittrain, who stresses that the rapid development of Internet is not permanent and, today, Internet is approaching a considerable slowdown in its development as well as in the development of technologies that maintain Internet. As a result, the author argues that it is Internet users, who are, to a significant extent, responsible for the ongoing development of Internet and its future depends on the interaction of Internet community.

The author stands on the ground that Internet is one of the greatest inventions the mankind has ever made in its history. He focuses on the search engine which accelerated the development of Internet and revolutionized not only virtual but real world. He draws a number of examples which reveal the positive impact of Internet on human life. He reminds about such devices as iPod, GPS and others, which have made human life easier and more comfortable. Today, we take these devices for granted and modern telecommunications are an integral part of our daily life but they would be impossible without the development of Internet, whereas search engines keep progressing and they are applied in various devices.

Obviously, the author is very concerned with the development of Internet and search engines. Throughout his book, Zittrain lays emphasis on the fact that the development of Internet and search engines accelerated the development of Internet. The introduction of the first search engine opened huge opportunities for the development of Internet. However, the author argues that the development of Internet slows down because new technologies and search engines are introduced at a slower pace compared to the past. To prove this fact, the author refers to the comparison of innovations being introduced in Internet before, at the dawn of its rise, and today when the innovations are not so revolutionary as they used to be. For instance, the author states clearly that the introduction of early search engines has revolutionized Internet and made it a truly global network with multiple practical applications. Instead, today, Internet is stumbling in its development.

In fact, the argument of the author sounds quite persuading because it is obvious that Internet is not progressing as fast as it used to be. At any rate, the author’s idea is basically supported by actual facts he draws in his book to support his suggestion that Internet becomes less innovative as it used to be. It is possible to analyze the most significant innovations introduced in the course of the development of Internet and their impact on users and society at large. For instance, Zittrain writes about the revolutionary effect of the search engine which influenced consistently the development of Internet at the beginning of its development en masse, whereas, in recent years, it is possible to mention just a few projects and innovations which have the similar effect. In this respect, Wikipedia or Web 2.0 search engine are the most significant innovations introduced in Internet.

At the same time, the author argues that it is users and the Internet community who are responsible for the development of Internet. However, it is difficult to agree absolutely with the author in this regard because he apparently underestimates the significance of the technological innovations that are or can be introduced by IT specialists and other specialists that can change the development of Internet. What is meant here is the fact that it is technological innovations made by professionals that have made the most significant impact on the development of Internet. For instance, the search engine Zittrain admires so much was invented by professionals but not ordinary users. In fact, users are consumers who can bring in new ideas but it is professionals who should implement them but the author entirely relies on users as the future developers of Internet.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that Zittrain analyzes the development of Internet and warns about the slowdown in its development. The revolutionary effect of the first search engine has never been repeated by any other invention but the author’s pessimism may be a bit subjective because Internet still has a huge potential to grow.

 

Works Cited:

Zittrain, J. The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It. Yale University Press, 2008.