You want information? You got it

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The Independent Culture
As far as I can tell, the Internet revolution amounts to millions of people swapping trivia about Star Trek. Tonight's Horizon, "The I-bomb", (8pm BBC2) takes a more serious view.

The Gulf War, we learn, was a key barometer of the new information age: it was the first to be fought in cyberspace. Saddam didn't stand a chance after the first 24 hours because strategic attacks on his communications posts stripped him of his ability to accumulate and distribute information. And Saddam was not the only one denied information. Vietnam, say some, was lost because the media overturned public opinion. Come the Gulf crisis and we find the antidote: the most media-managed war in history.

But does this mean that the infamous materialist Eighties God will be replaced by an information deity; that the goal is access to the entire accumulated knowledge of the human race whether or not we want it? That's what these so-called futurists seem to be telling us. But then I've always thought futurism is 90 per cent intellectual masturbation. Even oil companies who spend millions trying to predict what markets will do in 5 years time tend to be way off. Why should these self-styled gurus do any better?

In the meantime, I'm off to reap the intellectual fruits of the information superhighway...incidentally, did you know that only nine people have ever captained the starship Enterprise?

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