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Word Count: 457
Here Comes Everyone In the 1990s the personal computer revolution turned into the social computer revolution The thrill of having sophisticated computer power on your desktop turned out to be just the beginning once your machine could connect to everyone elses via telephone lines There is a global computer the size of humanity taking shape Now that everybody can publish their own interests to a world audience on the Net we learn irreversibly that the world is far stranger and more interesting that we would ever guess from magazines books and broadcast media Our sense of the world is altered and oddly enough in an optimistic direction Two simple-seeming devices -- search engines and links -- have made search-space on the Internet more exciting than outer space It is more current and diverse than any encyclopedia and its inhabited with real people However remote-seeming your query with a search service like Alta Vista within minutes you find yourself on the home page of someone who has made that subject their lifes obsession What he or she has to say raises questions you would never have thought to ask And they provide links to even more astounding sources Web surfers experience a giddy sensation of boundless variety and boundless possibility How the world talks to itself is permanently changed In the jargon it has shifted from one-to-one telephone and one-to-many broadcast to many-to-many the Net Power is taken from the editors and distributors in huge over-cautious corporations and handed to no-longer-passive radical everyone Individuals on the Net initiate and control content to suit themselves and those they can interest This makes governments nervous The Net is an antidote to broadcast news The news tells you about a shocking earthquake and youre depressed The Net gives you the people who are helping the earthquake victims and provides firsthand reports I was out in the garden when it hit and I noticed
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