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Kranzberg

February 18, 2008

Kranzberg’s First Law: “Technology is neither good nor bad, nor is it neutral.” is quoted in our reading The Information Technology Revolution. 

The ability to digitally deliver information has brought innovative ways to generate income.  I search the internet quite often while attempting to locate new and current ways to grab the attention of students, interest them and communicate better with them.  One web site I have reviewed over the past year and a half is SecondLife.  The following URL gives a good break down of what the site offers: (http://secondlife.com/whatis/ ). 

This web site began as a virtual world for members to gather and experience a separate dimension of their life.  Basically, the member would create a new life for him/herself via the use of an “avatar”.  As time has passed the membership has quickly adapted to an “in world” experiment in which members buy, sell, rent, invest and carry on a myriad of activities that generate real income.  See the CNN coverage: http://money.cnn.com/2006/11/09/technology/fastforward_secondlife.fortune/index.htm

I believe this is only the edge of development in terms of a new economy.  It amazes me that this use of virtual/artificial intelligence has become a global market place.  As it evolves the question that comes to my mind is how far will this segment of the economy come to drive larger societal economies.

 

I am a bit unclear, but it appears that this combination of technology, group membership and culture may have great effect upon the livelihood of segments of society which have often been overlooked (although very competent), such as the physically challenged or disabled and even the aged and those under the minimum age standard.  News reports and projections tell us that a sizable amount of our population in the U.S. will be retired and drawing benefits by 2015/2025.  This will leave a smaller segment of society in the “working age” category.  Such income possibilities could be viable as alternatives for Seniors to supplement incomes and help support the retirement system.  This of course may call for some major changes in income tax calculation for those who are disabled or otherwise drawing benefits.  Other potentially needed changes would be reduction of the minimum age for workers.

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