David Pogue runs through 10 lessons he's learned in 10 years covering technology. It's a good list, but I'd add one more: I think the cool, knowing thing is to dismiss a lot of the breathless gadget-hype out there, but I'm becoming increasingly convinced that this stuff matters much more than most people are willing to admit. I remember poo-pooing Twitter a few years ago, but now the micro-writing service is an important part of not just my life, but many millions of other people's lives. Frankly, I can't get my head around the implications of Facebook having 500,000,000 members -- and growing. And these are young technologies that people are just starting to figure out. We really don't know their full reach and potential.
I was talking with Tim Wu on Tuesday, and he argued that the direction these technologies take are going to be much more important in terms of human freedom than most of the policy decisions we're likely to make in the near future. And he's probably right about that. Cell phones open communication options for the third world that were inconceivable years ago. Authoritarian regimes struggle to lock the internet down, but are only partially successful. Privacy norms are being totally transformed. People who have trouble navigating traditional social situations suddenly have a whole new expanse of both commercial and personal opportunities to traverse. All this stuff matters, and the enabling technologies and ideas are coming so fast that the coverage is almost necessarily breathless. But that doesn't mean it's wrong.
| December 1, 2010; 1:22 PM ET
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