The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business book review

By Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen of Google

What does the future of our society look like according to Google?

Apparently, it is more universally transparent, blazing fast, and overloaded with information. Among other things.

The New Digital Age doesn't focus on gadgets and gizmos, but rather on how the internet is shaping our reality, the reality of our friends, cities, governments, nations, and even the bad guys.

We delve deep into how our personal identities are now on the cloud, being tracked, documented, and archived, practically 24/7. We are forever in the cloud. Couple that with government agencies, companies, and various other institutions having access to our private information, nothing is absolutely private anymore. In some cases, governments can request full access to our online information.

But this lack of anonymity from the government is paradoxical, because the internet also provides anonymity in other degrees. Such as sharing information under various aliases to our fellow peers, as well as inciting groups to enroll in certain political or social causes, such as saving the dolphins, or ‘humanizing' animal skinning.

The speed at which information is sent and received allows logistics during a crisis situation to be asserted almost the following day. After the Haiti earthquake, the following day internet companies quickly set up cell towers, allowing the entire nation free calls, so people could contact relatives, or even request emergency support from under rubble.

On the plus side, terrorism is quickly being subverted due to the mistakes terrorists make online. Cyber security can track a lot of these individuals relatively quickly, and very efficiently. Hence, one of the reasons Osama Bin Laden was tracked down.

On the down side, the threat of disabling infrastructure is a reality we face.

This level of threat is from international governments, such as the collaboration between the US. and Israel to create the Stuxnet virus, which took down one of Iran's nuclear plants. Cyber attacks from nations such as China, to steal money and corporate/government secrets is quickly on the rise. They are not holding back from stealing valuable information, while avoiding actual physical warfare.

The war in cyberspace can potentially affect even financial institutions, as well as the financial markets.

Ultimately, with increased regulations, security measures, and various ethical controls, the internet is here for the betterment of mankind. We will be able to more quickly catch the bad people, spread awareness of worthy causes, and educate the masses. The speed at which this IS happening is revolutionary, and The New Digital Age makes some very calculated predictions.

After all, Google knows everything you and I, and everyone else is thinking. So they can predict where things will go, relatively speaking.



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