What is the Ubernet?

 We've all heard of the World Wide Web and the Internet, but how about the "Ubernet"? What does this term mean? 

The Ubernet is a term coined to characterize the vast interactive connections we have with each other and with information through the Web. From email to social media to education, the amount of pure access we have to a huge variety of resources is truly amazing. 

According to a report from the Pew Research Internet Project, the ease of access to communication and information will "diminish the meaning of territorial borders, ideological or political barriers and access to both education and economic resources." We're already seeing this play out from numerous events: live news reported in real-time via Twitter by onsite witnesses, political movements revitalized on social platforms such as Facebook, professional networking taking place online between people all around the world, and free classes on anything from mechanical engineering to computer programming offered online from colleges and universities.

The Ubernet Will Change Our Interactions

The Ubernet “is going to systematically change our understanding of being human, being social, being political,” wrote Nishant Shaw, visiting professor at the Centre for Digital Cultures at Leuphana University, Germany. The Ubernet represents a change in the basic structures and systems that allow or limit the way humans behave and interact, which “is celebratory for what it brings,” Shaw wrote “but it also produces great precariousness because existing structures lose meaning and…a new order needs to be produced to accommodate these new models of being.”

Acesss to the Ubernet Will Affect Education

Hal Varian, chief economist for Google, wrote, “The biggest impact on the world will be universal access to all human knowledge. The smartest person in the world currently could well be stuck behind a plow in India or China. Enabling that person — and the millions like him or her — will have a profound impact on the development of the human race. Cheap mobile devices will be available worldwide, and educational tools like the Khan Academy will be available to everyone. This will have a huge impact on literacy and numeracy and will lead to a more informed and more educated world population.”

The Ubernet Will Continue Help People Solve Problems

JP Rangaswami, chief scientist for Salesforce.com, observed, “The problems that humanity now faces are problems that can't be contained by political borders or economic systems. Traditional structures of government and governance are therefore ill-equipped to create the sensors, the flows, the ability to recognize patterns, the ability to identify root causes, the ability to act on the insights gained, the ability to do any or all of this at speed, while working collaboratively across borders and time zones and sociopolitical systems and cultures. From climate change to disease control, from water conservation to nutrition, from the resolution of immune-system-weakness conditions to solving the growing obesity problem, the answer lies in what the Internet will be in decades to come. By 2025, we will have a good idea of its foundations.”

From humble beginnings in a European lab to the current status of the Web in our lives, it's incredible to see how far the Web has come in just a few short years. Who could have imagined that we would have unlimited access to global communication on a wide variety of platforms, be able to pick and choose from educational resources on literally anything we can think of, or get real-time updates from current events - anything from local football games to global economic summits? When you stop and think about how much the Web has given us, it's truly astonishing to think about how we ever got along without it!