When Janna Quitney Anderson, Susannah Fox, and I began to think about surveying technology experts about the future, we worried there might be too much consensus among the digerati. We fretted there was a firm conventional wisdom among the tech community's tribal leaders about the future of the Internet and what its social, political, and economic impacts would be. Our concern was that even the most provocative questions would yield answers that would be too uniform and too predictable to be interesting and useful to anyone.
That was a lot of wasted worry.
The experts' answers for this volume suggest they more or less agree about where digital hardware and software are heading, and there is little dispute that these technologies will become more important in users' everyday lives. Beyond that, though, there is a rich discussion and often raucous disagreement about how the new, improved technology will be used, how people and institutions will respond to tech changes, and the degree to which the impact will be beneficial or harmful.