Homo Interneticus, the final episode of the BBC World Service radio adaptation of the BBC2 series The Virtual Revolution aired this morning at 10am. It’s available to listen via podcast in the BBC’s Documentaries strand and on the Monday Documentary website. You can listen to the other programmes too: The Great Levelling, Enemy of the State and The Cost of Free.
This episode asks whether the Web has revolutionised our psychologies, our communities and our cognition. I speak with Web detractor Susan Greenfield, who believes that the communication technology infantilises our brains. I interview Professor Sherry Turkle from MIT, whose decades-long study of the Web and Web communities has led her to believe that our need for constant feedback has transformed how we make decisions. And I speak with Professor David Nicholas from UCL who, with the CIBER research group and the Virtual Revolution production team, has created an experiment – already with over 50,000 responses worldwide he told me this morning! – that seeks to empirically test whether the 20 years of using the hyperlinked architecture of the Web has affected how we cognitively organise our thoughts.
Don’t forget to listen to all the other excellent documentaries and dispatches in the SuperPower series. I’ve been consuming them on my morning runs and at 2am, when I’ve forgotten to turn the radio off at bedtime.
Here are a few that I’ve managed to catch:
Internet Cafe Hobo
A three-parter in which world traveller Nick Baker follows a trail of breadcrumbs from one internet cafe to the next, in search of interesting stories from New York to New Guinea.
Assignment: Hackers for Hire
An investigation into the Russian hacker underworld.
Netrimony: Online dating in India
Looking at the immense influx of online dating websites in the Indian subcontinent, and how this is affecting the centuries old matchmaking traditions.
There are many more, I assure you.