Christian Long

Gordon Brown: Wiring a Web for a Global Good

In TED Talks on May 5, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Reflection by ADAM K.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Gordon Brown:  Wiring a Web for a Global Good

The World has changed profoundly in terms of communication and technology, information can be distributed easily and efficiently. No longer does somebody have to wait a month for a letter, e-mail is an easier and faster way to send mail through the internet. Anything can go anywhere and be distributed to the internet via a mouse click. Gordon Brown, prime minister of England addresses this in his TED talk.

We have obtained the tools for broad information distribution that have profound effects on the world. For example when Neda, a persion woman died during the Iranian elections.This brought global attention to those elections and became a rallying point of protesters against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Another example, in the Philippines in 2001, a million people texted each other about the corruption of the regime of President Estrada. Seems harmless; just a whole bunch of people texted about how bad this guy is, but eventually his regime was brought down and it was called the coup de text.

Technology has become a vehicle for human expression, the internet itself is a wide network that can inspire and become a rallying point for people. Gordon brown says we need to take it one step further. The internet can become a rallying point for everyone in the world to take on global issues. Such as global warming and world hunger,we can do more than just taking down a corrupt ruler, technology along with the internet can be what ends world hunger and global warming, the power of communication is great.

However, I believe that Gordon Brown only addresses the positive of communication, true that the world can be profoundly effected, but that doesn’t mean just in a good way, but also in a bad way. Terrerists and people that wish to harm, can use the internet as a tool to spread their nefarious plans. Also censorship is in issue, censorship restricts the input and output of information. Even though censorship is getting harder and harder to impose it is still practiced in places such as North Korea and China. Censorship is a hinderance to the idea Gordon Brown has proposed, the idea of using the web to fight golbal problems.

Communication is key for this idea to succeed, and censorship and evil-doers are hindrances in this plan, but I believe its possible if you utilize the tools that we have made.

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