Everyone for themselves

In the virtual world of the Internet it is every one for themselves, including countries. Although the Internet was thought to be able to pull people and countries together, it seems to pull them apart.

In one newspaper it had the headline "EU Fears U.S.-Google World Dominance". It carried on to state:

  • How Google Inc. is creating a massive digital library on old historic books, triggering strong fears in Europe about Anglo-American cultural dominance that one critic is warning of a "unilateral command of the thought of the world."
  • The project, announced in December, involves scanning millions of books at the libraries of four universities - Oxford, Harvard, Stanford and the University of Michigan - as well as the New York Public Library and putting them online.
  • How this could lead to a U.S.-centric version of the world's literary legacy
  • So great is the concern that six European leaders have jointly proposed creating a "European digital library" to counter the project by Google Print, as the new venture is known.

Also think of:

  • The effects of Hollywood movies on other cultures
  • What country does not have an American Food Chain

Top words in Wikipedia

Wikipedia.org is apparently a free encyclopedia that is being written collaboratively by people from around the world, well that is what they tell people. All in all, I think that Wikipedia does a good job, but here is a thought...

As Wikipedia is quite open, all their statistics are displayed for anybody to see. On one occasion I was browsing the most frequent 5,000 English words used on Wikipedia. The following are the top 15 keywords:

  • Redirect
  • Category
  • User
  • United
  • 2004
  • States
  • People
  • External
  • Made
  • Years
  • Utc
  • American
  • Links
  • Time
  • Stub

What I found quite strange was that in the top 10 were the words "United" and "States". So I came to the conclusion that United States is mentioned a lot in Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is described by its founder Jimmy Wales as "an effort to create and distribute a free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality to every single person on the planet in their own language".

  • Just try and think why United States is mentioned so many times...
  • Is the Internet just a case of the history of rich people being preserved, while the history of poor people is forgotten?
  • Is it just everyone for themselves on and off the Internet?
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