Imagining the Worst

I have these little things that worry me, sometimes. I guess that, because of my bent toward dystopian science fiction, I frequently ask myself what the world would look like if (fill in the blank) occurred. I’ll see these trends developing, or see the potential of how something could turn out, and suddenly imagine the enormous losses that we would experience if things actually went that way. Of course, my imaginings tend toward the gripping story lines of the worst case scenario, so my concerns seldom come true.

I’m not a pessimist…really…

I keep reading various online services that are coming up with special offers to monetize themselves…services that are primarily free developing business models, as it were. I’m not opposed to this…the coders and developers of these great services should be compensated for their work. I just begin to be concerned when I see the ways in which they choose to make money, because I wonder if they’ll choose to exclusively use these models at the expense of offering their services for free, in order to become (more) profitable.

And then I imagine a world in which the Internet…the communications medium that has revolutionized our lives and functioned as an equalizer of the classes, distributing the same range of opportunities to all of us…could become a “walled garden,” with the most useful and revolutionary services open only to those who are able to pay.

That would be…tragic.

I’m sure, however, that I’m inventing another worse case scenario, and that there’s nothing to worry about in actuality.


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