I believe the most crucial thing we need to teach digital natives is how to be alone. Every communication technology -- from papyrus to the printing press to Pinterest -- brought us great gifts; they also led us away from earlier frames of mind. And, in the case of the Internet and smartphones, that may leave us with impoverished interior lives.
In today's world where digital innovation is driven by the ability to access and leverage the open Internet, the TPP proposes regressive Internet regulations that would be imposed on 12 countries party to the agreement (including Canada) by unaccountable U.S. conglomerates, with little to no meaningful consultation with the public.
Toronto's and Ontario's cash cow -- banking -- is going to face increasingly rough seas. This won't happen immediately, but a steadily downward trajectory affecting profits and employment is clear. At a recent high-level conference in New York on the future of finance, the news was great for consumers but grim for the world's bankers.
Business leaders so desperately want to understand how the brain works in order to improve their bottom line such that they will invest oodles of cash in the offerings of digital companies that claim to have neuroscientific validity. And an article about "going viral" in Harvard Business Review by a best-selling author and esteemed academic from Harvard will, by definition, go viral.
Just as no one living in 1914 could have foreseen the exponential horrors of the Second World War a mere twenty-five years later, likewise today we face the simultaneous onslaught of technological advances and government-sanctioned invasions of privacy, whose combined long-term ramifications for humanity are simply unknowable.
We believe making data free and open needs to be guided to ensure high impact and meaningful engagement. Successful open data initiatives show that artfully "guided advice" by researchers on how to use the data is important. We cannot let "open data hype" get in the way of the real goal: engagement and mashing up data to deliver high ROI.
Many years later, now ensconced in the Internet software world, I have learned just how skilled young students are in the ways of mosaic plagiarism. I believe in the rule of law and the science of intellectual property law. Yet encouraging creativity in young minds should be paramount for any teacher.
"Clicking" on Facebook to save the life of a child in the poorest regions of the world, language that seeps in to pricey corporate social responsibility campaigns online, encourages clicktivism and slacktivism. For any important issue, such as electoral reform, clicking on a petition or 'liking' a YouTube clip doesn't cut it.
The newspaper industry has yet to come to terms with the Internet. With decreasing circulation figures and declining ad revenues, daily papers haven't figured out how to turn a profit from their online readership. There have been numerous attempts at getting online users to pay, few of which have worked.
The CRTC and the government should stop playing whack a mole and fully open up our networks by splitting them from Big Telecom control so Canadians can access all providers on an equal basis. We've seen again and again how Big Telecom will take any chance they can to mistreat and price-gouge Canadians, and it's time to make some common sense reforms.
You may have noticed variations of the term "online trolling" creeping their way into the style guides of your favourite news outlets over the past year. What the Internet need not attempt is to expunge trolls. Instead, the digital class must work towards a renegotiation of its idioms. A key part of this process will be coaxing more nuance from terms like trolls and trolling, insisting on new ways of delineating the undesirable from the criminal: the process from the by-product. Resist the rush to concede the perch of the troll; it's all many of us have left.
Every year, CIRA holds elections and, just like electing a politician to represent your views about how the country should be run, you can elect the CIRA board to represent your views about how the country's Internet should be run. These elections are important. CIRA has considerable resources that could be put more forcefully towards ensuring Canadians have open and affordable options for Internet access. This year four places on CIRA's board are up for election.
Ensuring Canada has an accessible, affordable, surveillance-free, and open Internet is essential for our economy, culture, and global competitiveness. Minister James Moore has the power to take on Canada's entrenched Big Telecom giants. Here are 10 actions Minister Moore should take to leave a lasting positive legacy for Canadian Internet users.