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what important/practical uses can be made with the internet?

Chaotic DescentChaotic Descent Registered User regular
edited March 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
I'm not sure if I titled this thread properly, since I don't really have my head wrapped around it but I have some ideas. (separated by paragraphs. don't feel you need to read the whole paragraph.)

Why are there no non-commercial demographics available for us to use? (I want to know what kinds of music other people like, who like some of the music I'm already aware of, without having to stumble upon them by coincidence.) Is it because we don't want to give up our anonymity? Because the capitalist system already mines us for this data. and we could develop an anonymous yet verified system if we wanted the best of both worlds.*
We could possibly even divide up our different interests so that WE could see correlating between different interests, but no one else could link our different identities together to know that the guy who loves eating potatoes is also the guy who's into BDSM and Powerpuff Girls.
It might also be possible to use such a system to vote or show support for causes both domestically and foreign. If you could automatically through the internet show that you do not support... China's involvement with Tibet, or Canada's role in Afghanistan, or the lack of public health care in the USA... Wouldn't it be great if you didn't have to show up to a damned rally every time you wanted to make a point? (and who knows how much of an impact that has)
Perhaps you could even volunteer select information to a company if you have interest in a lot of their products, without the risk of getting spam.

*: Which is another project. I heard (if anyone can remember where, please remind me!) that the future of technology was going to go in one of two ways: anonymous but verified identities, or nanotechnology that would basically make everything public because anyone could spy on anyone else and there would be no way to avoid it. The 2nd would stop the 1st from happening. I'm not really sure if it works the other way around though.
The anonymity would allow a lot of things, both good and bad. It would allow easy development of black markets, since you could develop good reputations. (So that would probably be a big pile of bad.) It would also bypass IP law, which might be good or it might exacerbate the situation. (who knows) It would also allow non-commercial demographics to be used by the public instead of just corporate.

I hear a lot about these group projects... work done by the public. Not just wikis, but like people contributing ideas, blueprints, code... but I don't really know how to make sense of that stuff other than by a specific project you're already aware of.

I was wondering why there aren't things like... hubs, linking to various important projects, sorted by demographics so that people can easily find what personally interests them. (eg: Catholics won't give a damn about teaching contraception in third world countries.) It would be really nice if people could bring to our attention important issues that we might not be aware of, and then possibly rank them by importance within our demographic. (eg: some people may find the environment more important than human rights and poverty issues, and vice-versa) Maybe even report on improvements/worsening in the subject. It'd be nice to have a report card on the environment, poverty, human rights, scientific discovery (I guess that one's not so limited a scale)...
You could also link it to your charitable donations, so that they're divided up by how important they are. (You could take the average default, or customize it)

Chaotic Descent on
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