The internet amplifies variability

As a rule of thumb, the internet induces greater variability.

Before the internet, we mostly had videos that were organized into half an hour or one-hour episodes. We watched these episodes on a daily / weekly basis. The internet has us watching videos that range from a few seconds to several hours. Further, we can choose to watch some shows monthly even as we binge-watch others.

A university degree in computer science, pre-internet, was a once-and-done affair taught in a physical classroom. This setup looked very similar regardless of whether it was done in Bolivia, Botswana or Brunei. The internet has now given us coding boot camps, online certifications and a host of other substitutes for the same degree that can span across a person’s entire career.

Pre-internet shopping was done in a mall or a supermarket in one’s own city. The internet has turned your laptop into one huge and diverse megastore where you can buy items from any corner of the world.

I am still fascinated by how a prism splits a white ray of light into a vibrant spectrum of constituent colours. The industrial age had stifled us to think in shades of black or white. The internet, like a prism, liberates us to explore a much wider variety of possibilities.

Source: Balaji Srinivasan

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