Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Can the Internet save the world?

Probably not. But, because it’s probably the biggest jump in the ability of humans to communicate (well, there’s the cell phone too, but forget about TV and radio because they’re only one-way communication—and that’s just propaganda) it can sure help.

Hard to push your world-wide anti-environmental agenda with the Internet around where everyone has their say—including scientist who can usually squash nonsense with sense. Anyway the Internet is a wonderful tool (which will probably supplant the print media) and with a pandemic flu being one of the great killers of our species, Google’s new tool could have a great impact on our collective ability to monitor the spread of this fast-moving killer. When the bird flu jumps from bird-to-bird to bird-to-to human, it’s bad. When that, in turn, jumps from human-to-human, it’s one of the fastest moving killers of human kind there is. Google’s “Flu Trends” will help us track the flu and maybe offer up clues as to how the inevitable pandemic flu might occur.

Of course, governments should be doing this job--tracking health problems world-wide--but lately most of them are busy warring with each other and trying to rein in their economies that they should have regulated in the first place. Allowing financial markets to regulate themselves--how’s that working out for ya? So, we’ll have to depend on Google and other wise businesses to do the right thing and help make our existence sustainable. Check out: Google’s “Flu Trends: Google Flu Trends http://www.google.org/flutrends/

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