Ethan Zuckerman mentions a disappointing situation that though modern people have more efficient tool, the internet, to connect to the world, we do not take an advantage of it. Instead, we still concentrate on our daily life but do not see broadly and trying to solve the mysteries in our world.
To my mind, this might be an example of improvements of technologies will not definitely lead changes to how people think and act. Regarding to the internet, in my opinion, the basic nature of it may be just like a library, though it is a super huge one, with unlimited books and multimedia materials, and readers can look up books anywhere and anytime. Something even better, every single person can publish his/her own articles immediately and it costs nearly free.
But do all these features change the way how people use a library? We might use a library for study or for work, which are mostly related to our daily life. We might use a library for entertainment, which basically according to what we are interested in. And the same thing we do when we surf on the internet. I think seldom people will go to library and start to find a book about a topic they know little or are not interested in at all. Therefore, I can’t imagine someone just open the browser and automatically search unfamiliar information either. People will find something they think is important to them and they decide what is important on their own.
Ethan Zuckerman indicates that people don’t try to learn important issues in the world and merely focus on the circle of their life. But to some people, they have already concentrated on the most important topics and get plenty of good information online. The Arabic Spring is important, but the 7 Train will stop every weekend since October is important, too. The problem here is how we can nudge people to take a balanced information digest, focusing more on the issues happens at the other side of the world. By education? Perhaps. Adding the exposure of the different news, like Global Voices, it might work. But I think the way to improve social media and search engine in the article might not work due to the nature that people are tend to decide what is important by themselves. Therefore, the main effort should be to make these issues be seen to them, connect them to their life and become as important as one thing they might think when they wait the train in the morning.