I believe in progress. As a culture we accumulate more and more knowledge, we use science to refine our models of the universe giving us technology: farming, printing, medicine, electricity, telephones, computers, networks.

I'm not saying i think all this stuff is wonderful and good. Just that it exists, and he have to deal with it Brin's The Good and the Bad.

cultures as a whole learn and grow. the economy becomes more efficient and communication improves. each person becomes more capable. the price of computation and communication (information processing) drops. though presumably limited in theory, we still have a long way to go. how far, assuming straight exponential?

I see this as part of a continuing process that begin with life itself, one that will continue to its limits (i think the curve is exponential then levels off, rather than a singularity as predicted by Vinge [link?]) this process is Kauffman's Life force. see the eschaton. see std curve for spread and saturation.

originally people were only connected to those that lived near them; the people they saw daily and weekly. then print hit. then television allowed broadcast to people's largest input chanel: their visual system (videodrome and the new flesh). the internet brought low-bandwidth many-many global connections. more/wider connections result in social creatures. you can start to see the multi-connected video streams in CU-SeeMe.