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OtherWise by Dick Martin

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25Lost in a Loop

For centuries, new communications technologies have helped bring people together. Every innovation—from tribal drums to telephones—collapsed geography a little more, making the world smaller. Now it seems that the most powerful of those innovations—the Internet—is doing the exact opposite: Geography is actually folding in on itself, like a digital black hole from which nothing can escape. The Internet is enabling a decidedly unsocial network that isolates and divides.

Think of all the hateful e-mail, attacking one group or another, that fills your inbox every day. Or the websites designed to feed people’s paranoia. Of course, all technological innovations have dark sides and unintended consequences. Socrates ranted that the invention ...

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