Stephen T. McClard
April 2, 2010
If you are familiar with my blog, you will remember a series of articles I wrote on the Future of Educational Technology and Education 3.0. I tried to bring out an accurate vision of the future direction our educational system must take to keep current with trends in the dawning digital age. My main arguments in this article center on the need to focus educational institutions and practices into a standardized platform of delivery and measurement. In another article, OiPC (One iPad Per Child), I try to point out the folly of spending billions trying to find solutions to problems that can be easily addressed with common sense. There is no question that our compass of governmental spending is a bit off its declination.
Spending issues aside, consider the newly released National Broadband Plan.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
I was aimlessly meandering around Google yesterday and came across a shocking headline: FCC Adviser Advocates State-run Propaganda “Megaphone” to Counter Alternative Media. You may or may not be familiar with Alex Jones and his associated website, www.infowars.com, and his particular brand of conspiratorial journalism. All judgments aside, I found the article to be a questionable eyebrow-raiser. I had a few hours to kill, so I downloaded the National Broadband Plan and read the entire document.
You may be thinking there are better uses of two free hours of one’s life. You would be wrong. This document may be a slice of the American story that will be taught in digital history classes for years to come—on par with the Wright Brothers, telecommunications and the Chop-o-Matic. If you thought the highway system was an improvement to our society, pull up a cozy chair and envision an eye-opening glimpse into our future information technocracy. That’s right, I said technocracy.
Although I don’t agree with Alex on the finer points of the article mentioned above, I do subscribe to his fear of potential misuse and manipulation of digital information. There is no question that digital information will be mishandled, misreported and used for criminal gain—even by governments. If we learn anything from history, we learn that unlimited power corrupts absolutely. Lust for power and gain has the potential to distort the will of the strongest of men and women alike.
Despite these fears, I will hold out hope for the technocracy part of the equation. This is precisely where our story in history will get good, like the hero of a great novel saving the day. The heroes in this story, however, will redoubtably be the nerds.
I say, “Nerds unite!” The one saving grace in this messed up world will be our nerds. Nerds and hackers will not stand for big government spoiling the importance of the new digital age. Wars may rage and politicians may philander, but one thing is for sure: Nerds have the knowledge, power and thoughtfulness of intentions that greedy, thoughtless politicians do not possess. Give the nerds a few new toys, and the evil ‘nerd conspiracy’ will unite mankind as never before.