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St Augustine : Augustinian Encounter for young adults Guadarrama, Spain
Augustinian Encounter
for young adults
Guadarrama, Spain

From 1969 to about 1998 the Internet was mainly "read only", meaning that a person could view information on other web sites, and copy it by downloading it.

In its second developmental phase from 1998 onwards, the Internet became interactive, with enquiry lines and "live" chat rooms.

A modern example of this was the web site of Olympic information and results that was conducted by the IBM Corporation in Sydney, Australia during September 2000.

 
During the Olympic Games the site recorded the phenomenal total of 11,343,387,199 "hits" internationally, and received over a million interactive inquiries on each day of the Olympics.
 
Bill Gates, a computer software guru and the world's richest man largely because of it, speaks of a third developmental phase now emerging. He predicts that the Internet will change more dramatically in the next five years than it has during its entire brief history.
 
This will happen as Internet software comes to do more than facilitate links to other relevant web sites, but incorporates into one's home site a constant connection with chosen sections of these other sites.
 
Gates used the analogy that just as the brain monitors and coordinates other parts of the body, one's web site will be a "brain" that is programmed constantly to monitor and coordinate a network of "organs" that are the selected sections of other web sites.
 
All of this will affect humanity because it has the potential of creating another category of rich people and poor people.
 
Nations henceforth will be judged not only as whether materially rich or poor but also whether rich or poor in the possession and handling of information technology.
 
A serious denial of access to information technology will keep nations locked out of opportunity in a way remarkably parallel to how economic poverty does so.
 
In recent times "S 11 Alliance" protesters were in Melbourne, Australia during the World Economic Forum and in Prague during the meeting of the International Monetary Forum.
 
They were labelled as being "anti-future" and metaphorical Luddites (machinery breakers) because of the occasionally violent tactics of some of their number.  
 
(Continued on the next page.) 
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