It used to be that if your automobile broke, the teenager down the street with the wrench could fix it. Now you have to have sophisticated equipment that can deal with microchips. We're entering a world in which the complexity of the devices and the system of interconnecting devices is beyond our capability to easily understand.
The most revolutionary aspect of technology is its mobility. Anybody can learn it. It jumps easily over barriers of race and language. ... The new technology of microchips and computer software is learned much faster than the old technology of coal and iron. It took three generations of misery for the older industrial countries to master the technology of coal and iron. The new industrial countries of East Asia, South Korea, and Singapore and Taiwan, mastered the new technology and made the jump from poverty to wealth in a single generation.
After simmering years of censorship and repression, the masses finally throng the streets. The chants echoing off the walls to build to a roar from all directions, stoking the courage of the crowds as they march on the center of the capital. Activists inside each column maintain contact with each other via text messages; communications centers receive reports and broadcast them around the city; affinity groups plot the movements of the police via digital mapping. A rebel army of bloggers uploads video footage for all the world to see as the two hosts close for battle. Suddenly, at the moment of truth, the lines go dead. The insurgents look up from the blank screens of their cell phones to see the sun reflecting off the shields of the advancing riot police, who are still guided by close circuits of fully networked technology. The rebels will have to navigate by dead reckoning against a hyper-informed adversary. All this already happened, years ago, when President Mubarak shut down the communications grid during the Egyptian uprising of 2011. A generation hence, when the same scene recurs, we can imagine the middle-class protesters - the cybourgeoisie - will simply slump forward, blind and deaf and wracked by seizures as the microchips in their cerebra run haywire, and it will be up to the homeless and destitute to guide them to safety.