The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

How Osama bin Laden resembles Napster

In the course of pondering the recent terrorist attacks on American targets, I realized that it signifies an important shift in the behavior of people within world civilization. This shift has been away from large centralized structures towards smaller, increasingly autonomous (but interconnected) structures. An interesting thing about this shift is that, in terms of progress, it's almost counterintuitive.

the post-centralized world and how Osama bin Laden resembles Napster

The Gus is on to something here—there does seem to be a paradigm shift (if I may be excused for using such a term) going on.

Years ago, as a kid, I couldn't see myself living anyplace where I couldn't receive TV. Of course, growing up I was spoiled by living between the two major television markets of Miami and West Palm Beach, so I got two of ABC, two NBC, two of CBS, two PBS and a host of independant stations, for a total of maybe 20 broadcasting stations. TV. I needed my TV. Now, however, I no longer really watch TV, but now I can't see living anywhere without Internet access.

But if Osama bin Laden can conduct highly effective terrorist activities from a place like Afghanistan, then maybe, just maybe, the world is slowly decentralizing and the need for cities is lessened. And like The Gus, I can only hope “that there are more overwhelmingly more people interested in trading music than in killing themselves as a means to injure the Great Satan.”

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[The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades]

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