Last week I dropped by OpenDNS HQ in San Francisco and while I was there I had a meeting with the founder and CEO of the company, David Ulevitch. During our meeting, one of the topics that came up was parental controls. Normally, I wouldn’t be so interested in such a topic, being that I’m not a parent, but something David said intrigued me.
Basically, what it came down to was this: if you ask any parent whether they want parental controls available to them, they would say yes, however, most of the time when parental controls are accessible parents don’t use them. And why is that? Typically, it’s because one of two reasons: they either don’t want to spend the time to configure them or they themselves don’t want to be bothered by them while using the computer.
You won’t find me often posting links to TED talks on this blog. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good TED talk, it’s more that the format isn’t often conducive for a blog post. But this one really caught my eye, and it’s only a few minutes long. Go ahead and watch it. If nothing else. you’ll be entertained.
The point is very clear: our society is quickly moving away from personal interactions and towards more disconnected virtual ones. I’ll let you decide if that’s true or not, but it’s clear that the presenter in the video, Marshall Jones, thinks it’s a bad thing. He suggests that we don’t interact “in real life” anymore and makes the hyperbole that we’ll get to the point where we forget what a “human touch” is. While it’s hard to imagine it getting that bad, there’s got to be some basis for his assertions.
Education has Historically Been a Lesson in Time/Space Learning Limitation
“I know that I know nothing” were words attributed to the Greek philosopher Socrates, the founder of Western education. Indeed, this has been the universal prevailing sentiment held by the truest of scholars throughout time; so long as there remains horizons yet to be crossed how can we ever be satisfied that we’re truly aware of everything there is to know? We may never satisfy this desire to become entirely educated in an ideal sense, but technology has certainly allowed the peoples of the world to benefit from global knowledge in a way that has never been accomplished before. We’re now able to take our learning experience beyond any horizon without leaving the living room.
What do technology giants Google and Apple have in common? Besides staying relatively stable in a otherwise shaky economy, both companies have managed take the spotlight in the media; something that cannot be said about other technology entities such as Microsoft.
So why is it that a report today from the Pew Research Center says that 15.1% of all technology stories are about Apple, and another 11.4% about Google? Simply put, the answer is innovation. You see, in the thirteen-month reporting period (1 June 2009 – 30 June 2010), Apple and Google made several groundbreaking innovations that changed truly impacted the technology industry, and thus stole the spotlight when it came to press and media coverage.