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Hannu H. Kari Gives The Internet 2 More Years 465

erick99 writes "Dr. Hannu Kari says the Internet will will collapse in 2006 as reported in an article on ARS Technica. Yes, this is the same Dr. Kari who has predicted doom before, but it is still an entertaining read and there is more than a grain of truth in his reasoning." Reader Titney writes adds a couple of excerpts from an article on NewsRoom Finland: "The entire system will crumble to bits as the sheer bulk of rubbish circling around in the net exceeds the public pain threshold. ... When the internet is no longer operational for business purposes, one has to time warp back 10 to 20 years and make do without information networks"
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Hannu H. Kari Gives The Internet 2 More Years

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  • by stecoop ( 759508 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:45AM (#10575863) Journal
    Until Netcraft confirms it I wont believe it. I'll back check in two years at http://www.netcraft.com to verify his findings.

    -- a 2006 web odyssey
  • ...I have a bridge for sale.
    • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:51AM (#10575954)
      ...I have a bridge for sale.

      Well it may not die as in coffin dead but it may certainly morph into something completely different.

      With the onset of so many worms, trojans, and other miscellaneous exploits people are finally going to get fed up. They aren't going to switch away from Microsoft products to eliviate their problems though. Nope... What they're going to do is they're going to switch to Bill's latest and greatest achievement...

      Trusted Computing. This will be a BIOS, OS, and network interface that will be 100% secure. It will be running only "trusted" applications because Bill has certified them all. Remember those cute Windows on the corner of all pieces of hardware and software? Designed for MS Windows98? Well, this is going to be the same thing only not even the worms can run!

      See, safe, right? Well, you won't be able to be on the same Internet we have now because that's not trusted. Soon you'll be connecting to port 3128 of the trusted.proxy.microsoft.com to get your Internet.

      The "other Internet" (the one that the rest of us will be using) won't be protected, won't be trusted, and won't be supported by the Windows people.

      You draw your own conclusions as to what that will mean.
  • The first 2 times I tried to read the article, I got the message
    "Nothing to see here. Move along"
    Prescient, I think. For once, an error message that was on-topic.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:46AM (#10575883)
    The entire system will crumble to bits as the sheer bulk of rubbish circling around in the net exceeds the public pain threshold. ...

    Yeah, but when that happens we'll more likely timewarp back fifty or one hundred years. Spammers, virus copiers and script kiddies will simply be hunted down for sport and tortured on live TV. The penalty for being an idiot on the internet will be public beheading.

    I'm begining to look forward to 2006 now.
    • Spammers, virus copiers and script kiddies will simply be hunted down for sport and tortured on live TV.

      Right up until Ah-nold shows up and ruins everything by surviving!
    • Yeah, but when that happens we'll more likely timewarp back fifty or one hundred years. Spammers, virus copiers and script kiddies will simply be hunted down for sport and tortured on live TV. The penalty for being an idiot on the internet will be public beheading.
      You won't have to wait until 2006.

      Some network moron is going to see this and make it into next year's reality tv show. Hopefully, it'll be a replacement for "Everybody Loves Raymond".

  • by jolyonr ( 560227 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:47AM (#10575890) Homepage
    I've always wondered whether a story that mentions Slashdot [slashdot.org] in the subject would bring on a recurisve slashdotting that would result in the ultimate destruction of the internet.

    Well, it's worth a try anyway
  • by gowen ( 141411 ) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:47AM (#10575900) Homepage Journal
    ... Imminent death of the net predicted. Film at Eleven.

    I predict that within one year, someone smart enough to know better will predict the demise of the Net within 2 years. Can I have my "Professional Futurologist" badge now?
  • I thought the standard for technology predictions was five (5) years.
  • by BaldGhoti ( 265981 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:48AM (#10575911) Homepage
    For those who didn't RTFA (like the editor), he was indeed predicting the end of the internet back in 2001. However, he was predicting that there were five years left. So he's been consistent on 2006.

    Not that he's, yanno, sane or anything, but at least he's consistent.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:49AM (#10575920)
    ...we all get fiber in heaven with no caps.
  • Just me? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Strange_Attractor ( 160407 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:49AM (#10575930) Homepage
    When I read the title of this post, I thought it was referring to someone who'd taken as his alias the John Lovitz character from SNL:
    On Hershel, on Moishe, on Schlomo...

    Says Hannu K. Hari, eight days a year

  • Yeah and... (Score:2, Funny)

    by dfn5 ( 524972 )
    ... when Y2K hits the world will end... oh wait...

  • by etymxris ( 121288 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:49AM (#10575934)
    For example, I used to enjoy debates on newsgroups, but last I checked (several years ago), they were just full of trash. The topics I was interested in had been largely abandoned by those that were actually knowledgable in the fields due in great part to this.

    Another example is Yahoo message boards. Here we see what the lack of pretty much any moderation entails. Spam infested, crapflood infested, it's pretty difficult to get any meaningful discussion there.

    I think what will happen is that there will be heavier moderation and more stringent entrance requirements for various online forums. The Internet will still function, it just won't be as open as it once was.
    • by Benwick ( 203287 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:59AM (#10576081) Journal
      Exactly. Newsgroups have been trashed. Once back around 1992 they were practically a gathering of experts all around the world (and the occasional fringe wacko); now they're nothing but spam and all discussion is by fringe wackos (who don't know how to tell spam, trolling, and flaming from real responses). So the *interpersonal* aspects of the Internet may be doomed. E-mail spam, IM spam, etc. threaten those technologies.

      But the Internet is a lot of different things. The use of the Internet as, effectively, a billboard, with controlled content (moderation, web editing, etc), is not really at risk. BBC News is not at risk, nor are most generally non-interactive websites.

      So much for the electronic frontier. Anarchy is always good until you have actual people involved.

      • Once back around 1992 they were practically a gathering of experts all around the world (and the occasional fringe wacko); now they're nothing but spam and all discussion is by fringe wackos

        That's just crap. Very few of the groups I read are full of spam (the few that are are gatewayed mailing lists). And the technical ones are full of knowledgeable people: ask an F95 question on comp.lang.fortran if you don't believe me. They were really bad in the mid-90s, but now they're much, much better. I'd bet

        • That's just crap. Very few of the groups I read are full of spam (the few that are are gatewayed mailing lists). And the technical ones are full of knowledgeable people: ask an F95 question on comp.lang.fortran if you don't believe me. They were really bad in the mid-90s, but now they're much, much better.

          I agree. There are a lot more wackos on the lose, but most of them are happily trolling on millions of web-forums, chats, and whatnot. The average net user is less likely to find the Usenet nowadays and

    • by JavaLord ( 680960 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @12:00PM (#10576096) Journal
      I think what will happen is that there will be heavier moderation and more stringent entrance requirements for various online forums. The Internet will still function, it just won't be as open as it once was.

      See, but that is the problem. With heavy moderation comes groupthink and censor of ideas that the group might not like. This is what was great about newsgroups 10 years ago when I first discovered them. There was no censorship, but the level of rubbish was fairly low. Today, like you mentioned it's mostly trash.
      • With heavy moderation comes groupthink and censor of ideas that the group might not like.

        Maybe not. If moderation was distributed randomly, rather than as an reward for "good behavior", with no person allowed to moderate for longer than a certain time interval, things might not be so bad. Pests could be banned by black-balling --- say everyone has 1 black-ball to spend per every 2 months (non-cumulative). Then, if some troll gets 10 blackballs within that time frame, they're outta there!

        Just a thought.
    • by Afrosheen ( 42464 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @12:08PM (#10576211)
      I totally agree. The internet is currently full of morons, spammers, and 14 year old kids with a big chip on their virtual shoulders. That forces those of us with something to say to invite-only IRC channels, strictly registered forums, etc. This hurts search engines because the true meat of info that we're sharing can't be catalogued.

      I hope that things go back to the BBS days. Back when people ran BBS's, you had to login, give the admin very personal information (including a working telephone number), and eventually the admin would call you. You'd TALK to the owner LIVE and he'd decide if you got on or not. If there was a problem, you might have spoken to him again, live.

      If I ever start a forum anywhere, I'm definitely doing things this way. It's more personal than shooting off emails.
    • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @12:18PM (#10576355) Homepage Journal
      While I lament the death of Usenet as a tool, many of its purposes have been subsumed by the Web. Slashdot itself is a key example. For various software products company web boards have replaced the Usenet group.

      That's not just due to the the flamers there are also technological reasons. Usenet is a store-and-forward system; it's replicated all over the place (usually at your ISP). That was crucial when even the high-speed lines between service providers were 56kbps, but today you can go to a single site from anywhere and get decent response time. The distributed system made it slow and unreliable.

      Web sites also have the advantage over Usenet in that you can use a single tool that you already have to access it. You don't need to install special software. It's true that most Windows users already have Outlook, but wouldn't know how to configure it.

      I do lament the death of Usenet. There are many things it does better than the web sites do. Back in the day I could go to comp.lang.apl and confer with reliable experts on APL. And actually that's still true for some newsgroups, the obscurer the better. But at this point the death of Usenet is recursive: I don't go there because nobody else goes there. I'll sometimes use Google Groups to search it for answers to a question, but since I'm not posting to it nobody else gets to converse with me, and so they too gradually drop out.

      And it's too bad that I have to learn hundreds of different web-based message systems (with the corresponding array of logins to maintain) rather than the single point of entry to Usenet.

      Slashdot, and most other bulletin-board type systems, doesn't do the sort of long-term conversations that Usenet was good for. But people now go to other places for entertainment; conversation is out. It's much more passive and that's too bad. So it makes me sad that I don't even have a newsreader any more.
  • by spacerodent ( 790183 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:50AM (#10575936)
    does this guy seriously think people will just sit by and let this happen, even assumning it's possible? I think it's safe to say at the first sign of problems around 6 gillion nerds world wide would start working on fixes and sending them to anyone who might possibly give a damn. Given the number of users, even IF this is a problem, it could be solved quickly.
    • The problem is that when you have a decentralized enemy and no way of knowing their locations or when they will "strike", there's no effective offensive strategy. Defensive solutions (spam filters etc.) can be circumvented. So you end up either pulling out (abandoning e-mail/etc. entirely) or fighting a losing battle.

      There are plenty of nerds able to create spam filters but nobody has been able to stop the root problem, which is the *desire* for someone to create spam. That is motivated by economics. H
  • Simply put, the Internet won't disappear until there is something to replace it. I can't imagine going back to BBSes!
  • Wrong (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NardofDoom ( 821951 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:50AM (#10575951)
    When the internet is no longer operational for business purposes, one has to time warp back 10 to 20 years and make do without information networks

    No, one has to create VPNs and block all access that doesn't come from the inside.

    Or you could use dedicated lines that have no connection to the Internet.

  • Predictions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <akaimbatman.gmail@com> on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:51AM (#10575967) Homepage Journal
    Is this like the predication that we'd run out of IP addresses in the late 1990's. We all know that happened. Wait, no it didn't. Humans fixed the problem with private networks and NATing. In the process, they improved security and sanctity of their networks.

    It's a funny thing, networks. You see, since humans control them, they make changes and adjustments in response to the needs of the network. Thus the network grows, adapts, and becomes a more powerful entity.

    That being said, there are two things I wish I could exorcise from the net: Spam and viruses. These two creatures are responsible for more useless traffic than just about anything else. It would also be nice if protocols like GNUTella died or were fixed. The number of useless packets generated by such protocols is amazing.
    • "
      It's a funny thing, networks. You see, since humans control them, they make changes and adjustments in response to the needs of the network. Thus the network grows, adapts, and becomes a more powerful entity."

      At 11 a.m. SKYNET becomes self-aware...
  • I'm sorry... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IANAAC ( 692242 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:52AM (#10575972)
    I couldn't get past the first paragraph -

    Today the good professor warned that the fun bus could all come to a crashing halt in less than two years because of steady increases in everything that makes the Internet such a pain in the rear. Viruses, trojans, spam, and security flaws

    I suffer from none of those things. Never have. And I use both Linux and WinXP. A good portion of my friends, family and coworkers don't suffer either.

  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:52AM (#10575975) Homepage Journal
    Basically, this guy is saying that the Internet in its current form won't be around in five years.

    I have a saying: "It doesn't matter until it affects the common man - then it will get fixed." It does not matter what "it" is - as long as "it" only affects a small number of folks "it" won't get fixed.

    Look back at the old DOS days - when the 640K memory limit only affected high-end users, it didn't matter. When Joe Average started to bump his head, the problem was fixed (largely by the introduction of Windows enhanced mode). Look at spam - now that it affects just about everyone, moves are being made to fix it.

    Yes, in five years we the Internet as we know it today won't exist - open SMTP proxies won't be allowed to exist, users will have up-to-date virus protection and firewalls, etc.

    Guess what - the Internet as it existed five years ago doesn't exist, either!
    • Guess what - the Internet as it existed five years ago doesn't exist, either!

      really??

      IRC,ftp, usenet,telnet [dmine.com], email, hell even gopher [quux.org]
      is still around and being used.

      I'd say the internet from over 10 years ago is still there alive and kicking just fine.

      just because you dont use anytihng other than a web browser to access the "internet" does not mean it's not ther eand still being used.
    • by farzadb82 ( 735100 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @12:24PM (#10576433)
      Actually, I would re-word what you just said to "It doesn't matter until it affects a person of power."

      Basically what I'm getting at is that it doesn't matter until someone in a position that has the power to force change is affected directly or indirectly.

      As with your example with DOS, more than high-end users were being affected. The competition work out alternatives to use extra memory (EMS memory anyone ?), and it wasn't until MS realized that they were going to loose to the competition that they came out with XMS and High Memory, etc. scheme from DOS 5 onwards.

      Windows Enhanced mode did not take effect for a long time. Lots of applications were still written and being written for DOS, even when Windows 3.1 was around. It wasn't until the release of Windows 95 that things began to change and people started to look towards Windows as a "real" application platform.

  • by microTodd ( 240390 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:53AM (#10575985) Homepage Journal
    I predict another five years for the Internet in its present form

    I agree absolutely. If I saw a glimpse today of the net in five years I probably wouldn't recognize it. It is a cosstantly evolving organism. In 1999 I wouldn't recognize the net today.

    Will it die? No, of course not. Games, porn, mail, chat, music, p2p, that's not going anywhere.

    Business? Will businesses need to re-address the way they do business? More security, VPNs maybe, perhaps even leaving the net for other Information Systems solutions? Perhaps. If I knew the answer I would be rich in 5 years.

    What the next big thing? Who knows. I never thought in 1999 that music downloads for money could be successful.

  • time warp back 10 to 20 years and make do without information networks

    He, sorry bub, but Fidonet [fidonet.org] was created 20 years ago, in 1984 [fidonet.org], and it quickly became a worldwide information network (1985).

    I think Fidonet was (and still is) an information network, and not a bad one at that...

  • by rueger ( 210566 ) * on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:54AM (#10576000) Homepage
    I know that a lot of our clients and feiends are using e-mail less and less. They are finding that they are buried under a growing deluge of spam and virus laden messages, and are moving back to telephone calls, faxes, and even paper letters.

    We are lucky in having an ISP [magma.ca] with superb and effective spam filtering, so only see a few dozen messages a day that fit that description.

    Likwise we're very vigilant about virus protection and use a firewall, so have thus far avoided any virus infection.

    Still, most casual users aren't at this level, and they are finding that the Internet is less useful than it used to be.

    I don't hink that the Internet will collapse, but I can see a time when we start seeing casual users abandon it as more trouble than it's worth.

    And just to throw in a very frigtening idea, what happens when one or more spammers successfully sue ISPs for blocking their mail? Even if it can't be done domestically, various international trade agreements may support such and action.
  • Signal/Noise Ratio (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:55AM (#10576028) Homepage Journal

    Well, the public telephone network suffered from the problem of unsolicited bulk marketers calling people during dinner.

    It still survives. But it did have a few adjustments made to it.

    1. CallerIDs to screen calls.
    2. Answering machines to screen calls. Turning off the ringers to remove the sense of urgency that used to be ascribed to incoming phone calls.
    3. Legislation for donotcall.gov.
    4. Paying the telephone company more for unlisted landlines.
    5. Not giving out phone numbers to any entry point to the direct marketing industry databases.
    6. Moving to cell phones that are automatically unlisted.
    I guess I see the internet just evolving around the problems in multiple ways.

    I hate to say goodbye to anonymity in email that is abused by spammers because it has a special place for whistleblowers. But perhaps blog postings can still serve that purpose.

  • Sealab 2021 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by j0nb0y ( 107699 ) <.moc.oohay. .ta. .003yobnoj.> on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:56AM (#10576034) Homepage
    "Can anyone tell me what the Internet was and how it almost destroyed humankind in the year 2007?" - school teacher Debbie
  • Coming of age (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @11:58AM (#10576065) Homepage Journal
    When people and programs automatically accept incoming messages only from signed correspondants who match their contact database, all the rest of the messages will be treated as spam. The Net will lose its youthful trust, and much of its optimism and openness to change, which will inhibit innovation and social growth. But it won't die. It will grow old, bitter and rich.
  • humming birds are not supposed to physically be able to fly as well :)
  • "We cannot stick our heads in the bush and tell ourselves that everything is OK.

    In every case where I've stuck my head in the bush things have turned out just fine (slurp).
  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @12:00PM (#10576092) Journal
    This is what happens when you use a Mac (Apple has been dying for years) with a BSD-dying-for-years-based OS and live in a country where it goes dark for months on end. It infects your thinking. You start watching film noir, dressing in black and predicting the death of everything from the Internet to your neighbor's dog.

    Lighten up already. If the Internet takes as long to die as either Apple or BSD, we're safe well into the next generation or two.

    -Charles

  • And it didn't happen then, either.
  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @12:02PM (#10576121)
    Some of us were remembering the the M7 Loma Prieta quake exactly 15 years ago Monday. 10% of Stanford buildings were condemned, several freeways collapsed, but the InterNet went humming along. People used it send email when the phones were dead and exchange earthquake data. At that time the net was more concentrated in the US with root servers in D.C. and Silicon Valley.
  • If my last name were Kari, I would surely name my kid Harry. Okay, so it's off-topic, so what?
  • according to his reasoning, the world will come to an end because of child molesters, war mongers, theives and everything evil I cannot think of right now. This guy needs to visit some temples in asia to learn about Ying and Yang.
  • There's crap on the net? No way! I've never seen any. Oh, well, I only use it for news, work, movies, reviews, and buying stuff. I don't really spend every waking moment going to Joe Bob's Home Page with only a dancing Tea Kettle on it. Sorry, guess I just don't see the crap since I avoid those places. Sucks for me, eh?
  • ... When the internet is no longer operational for business purposes, one has to time warp back 10 to 20 years and make do without information networks

    Perhaps the author remembers when the telephone and the postal mail services, both got so flooded with junk that all business quit using them, entirely, several years ago.

    I also remember them becoming flooded with junk, but I don't remember when business quit using them.

    And if the author does remember business quitting to use these services, what does
  • What exactly does malware have to do with this? Malware has always been an issue, internet or not. Spam is the only thing that is a problem and with that, I think it is only a matter of time before anti-spamming efforts get serious. Honestly, cracking down on the porn industry would probably cripple much of the spam out there. Another thing that would help would be to make spammers liable for $0.01 per email they send with no ability to declare bankrupcy. That way if they send a billion messages and are jus
  • From Sealab 2021 Debbie: Now who can tell me what the internet was and how it almost destroyed the world in 2006?
  • The internet's not going to "die", but the ongoing shakeout of crap will continue. As things get overwhelmed with crap, THOSE THINGS will die. The rest of the internet will continue, and likely will get better. Amazon, Google, Microsoft, WalMart, you name it... these companies aren't going to give up their internet sales & distro channels without a final, furious attempt to save the medium. That would actually be a good thing, because as they're sinking who knows how much money into it, we'll all ge
  • "I predict another five years for the Internet in its present form. The reason for this will be that proper users' dissatisfaction will have reached such heights by then that some other system will be needed, unless the Internet is improved and made reliable," Kari said.

    So if everything stays static, except the bad stuff, the bad will outweigh the good and it will become unusable. Wow. That is a revelation.
  • I work as a roving technical support person helping mostly SoHos with computer problems and, well, I kind of have to agree about the collapse, though I may differ on the actual time.

    I routinely see -- on a daily basis -- broken emails that crash mail readers, systems crippled by spyware, viruses like you wouldn't believe.

    I realize the danger here of becoming the cop who sees all people as potential criminals, but I think the key difference in predictions of doom-and-gloom several years ago and those of to
  • by scotay ( 195240 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @12:10PM (#10576227)
    Only the people who believed the internet was some kind of nirvana, where all the sins of mankind were going to be washed away by technology, are disappointed with the way things are going. The rest of us deal with the quirks and it still proves most useful. And businesses are the most locked in. Are we going to go back to modems and BBSs? Not if we want to stay in business. We will deal. The internet will deal. And mankind will remain unchanged in the face of technology.
  • Doom 4? (Score:2, Funny)

    Yes, this is the same Dr. Kari who has predicted doom before
    Ok, so when will Doom 4 be released?
  • If you throw enough shit, some of it will stick.

    I just don't get what is up with these 5 times yearly announcements that the internet is coming to an end.

    Give it up already and find another way to get PR for yourself and/or your company.
  • 2 years from now, someone will do a mega-post here a listing all internet sites, so all of them will be slashdotted, making the article a reality.
  • I won't read the article because I don't want to be liable for more rubbish pouring through the pipes of the Internet. I don't want to help him fulfill his prophesy.

    For once, we all at /. have a good reason to not RTFA.
  • Not gonna happen (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DeepDarkSky ( 111382 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @12:15PM (#10576298)
    Obviously, the internet is made up of not only the hardware and the software and the data - it is also the people, and people are ultimately flexible and capable of adaptation to the situations that may arise. Just as the internet allows routing around failed nodes, so will people route around the noise.

    If you talk about pain, consider the withdrawal pain all of us will have to go through if the internet just wasn't available for all of our daily things anymore.

    An example of adaptability of things relating to human-ness influence - languages have generally changed over the ages, and has withstood the assault of abuse and misuse more or less intact. People are always worried that new coinage and usage of the language will corrupt the language to the point where it is no longer useful - this is far from the truth, and so it will be for the internet.
  • Bollocks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @12:15PM (#10576305) Homepage Journal
    The Internet will collapse, because there's too much crap floating around? I think there's a lot of crap floating around, but I don't get to notice much of it due to my software and usage patterns. I think this technique will continue to work for years to come.

    Ok, so maybe email is suffering from a spam overdose. This can be countered by fixing the protocols. It won't be RFC 821, but it will still be there in some form.

    As for www, as long as I don't go to crap sites, I don't see crap. Simple as such. Just because there are lots of crap sites doesn't mean there won't be any good ones. And frankly, I don't think the percentage of crap sites is that high (unless you're talking code quality).

    Argh, I'm not going to think up any more examples. It's a ridiculous claim, why am I even responding.
  • by cyngus ( 753668 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @12:16PM (#10576327)
    The Internet is a playground with no dried up old teachers to tell us not to hang upside down on the monkey bars. But groups and structures based on groups mature just like individuals, only slower. As the Internet evolves it will become self-policing. As we can see already with moderated forums, the relevant information can be made to bubble to the top with some small effort of users of said information. It is in the self interest of all Internet users to make it a viable place to find and exchange information. We are all selfish, and I think we'll get what we want. The other advantage the Internet has is that there are a lot of smart people using it and smart people are even better at figuring out how to get what they want than the average Joe. Perhaps the Internet would have already "collapsed" in a useful sense were it not for Google and others. Where there's a will there's a way.
  • Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project: The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.
  • by mekkab ( 133181 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @12:21PM (#10576399) Homepage Journal
    "Television programming will become so bogged down with advertisements and pandering to the lowest common denominator that it will collapse under its own weight in bloat, and we will go back to the telegrammophone."

  • by TiggertheMad ( 556308 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @01:20PM (#10577090) Homepage Journal
    The entire system will crumble to bits as the sheer bulk of rubbish circling around in the net exceeds the public pain threshold.

    The doctor is wrong for several reasons.

    First off, his premise is based off of nothing changing. The Internet behaves like an evolutionary biological system. Spammers send out spam, people build spam filters to lock out spam, and then the spammers improve spam to beat the filters. It mirrors a biological eveloutionary race. Unless one group eliminates the other entirely by an new improvement in strategy, this will go back and forth for a long time.

    Furhtermore, there is also a predator-prey model at work. As the predators(spam,viruses,spyware) become more prevalent, the 'weak' users will be weeded out. Actually, they will get fed up and abandon the meidum. The 'stronger' prey are more impervious to such nusances, and will just ignore them. As the easy prey decreeses, so does the profitiability of spammers, spyware, and vectors for virri. This will cause their numbers to drop, and allow a new batch of weak prey to enter the model.

    The netw will never 'crash' due to issues such as this, but it may experience rises and falls in popularity among the masses. The sky is not falling.

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