Nomad 3 2020: The wrap report. Visions of the Internet for 2070.

It’s the year 2070. I’m 90 years old. Still whole, though with the addition of two implants – one that constantly monitors my blood levels and the other that enables me to translate thoughts to action.
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The internet isn’t a ‘thing’ anymore like it was when I was 40. It’s just everywhere now. In the air, in the walls. There aren’t any wires and you don’t log in and out. Everything is always online. I am always online.
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Though thankfully, the interface that reads my thoughts can be paused for privacy reasons. Or so they say. I believe that someone is always listening.
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In the end, it wasn’t data or consumerism that changed the internet. It was health. Humanity’s wish to hack and augment our bodies, to stop the erosion of age and to live more fulfilled lives.
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In today’s era, our physical self doesn’t start regressing as soon as we hit 20. Not if you stop it in time anyway. It was too late for me. But kids these days can pause the disintegration, merge it with the the digital and enjoy a better life. 
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Of course death still exists. No one has cracked the ‘living forever’ element although there are rumours. But even death is better today. Less pain. More love. More possibilities. Or so they say… 
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….
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Back to the present time. Back to 2020. Back to the end of the Night Nomad series, which explored the topic of the internet and its humanity.
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When we launched the series, we had a few people quip at the concept of the internet having a humanity. The internet doesn’t have a humanity, they said. People do.
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But we weren’t quite sure. As we debate trust, privacy, the human form, empathy, hope, life and the future, the internet reflects the elements that makes us human. It amplifies our humanity. The good and the bad.
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’Is the internet going through a mid-life crisis’ opened Cat Matson, our moderator for the night who was set to guide us through multiple visions of the internet in 2070.
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‘We accepted a data-driven model of the internet’ highlighted Lucie Krahulcova from AccessNow, ‘that’s where we went wrong.’
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The challenge is that we now trade in data. Which means we need more data. Not good data. Just data. So we are manipulated to stay online extensively, as each data point becomes part of the monetary system.
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‘It’s not serving us anymore. Let’s go back to basics. An internet made for community, made for accountability, made for knowledge.’
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Stephen Phillips from Mawson sees the internet as an opportunity for three trends to flourish: AI, Quantum and mind augmentation. ‘AI is going to have dramatic effects on our life. Most of the world does not have access to good doctors. AI will change that.’
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This opened the door for conversations around encryption, surveillance and trust. And also questions on who did we ever trust? Journalists – maybe. Politicians – never. People – only once you get to know them.
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The beauty of this conversation was that whilst Stephen and Lucie came from different backgrounds and often had contrasting views on where we were heading (or why we are where we are), their outlook was always positive.
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Yes there are issues, but is the internet creating new problems or are they just human problems at scale? You can chase problems on the internet but in reality they need to solved at a grass roots level.
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‘Everyone just needs to chill out online. Stop being angry. We are judging people so fast.’ We grew up tolerating the people around us, in our family, school, town. Now we have to tolerate billions of people with different opinions, perspectives, ideals. Perhaps we just need more time to get used to, to learn.
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Perhaps we need to foster empathy. To question things. We don’t have the same arguments in real life as we do on the internet. Listen to each other. And always question where the money comes from.
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The internet is just there. It’s not the problem.

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