Time magazine has already named “using the Internet” as person of the year. Now this amazing series of tubes has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Riccardo Luna, the director of Wired Italia.
“Its not just a network of computers, it’s a network of lives,” Luna said to a crowd of about 70 in the Paley Center for Media yesterday “We need to shine the spotlight on the powerful impact of the Internet now.”
Techno-utopian Nicholas Negroponte spoke of the net’s ability to connect us. “Isolation plus poverty is a deadly cocktail,” he said. Indeed. If Chat Roulette has taught us anything, it’s that the web is a powerful force for connecting random strangers.
Shirin Ebadi, who won the nobel prize in 2003, spoke about the web’s role during the 2009 Iranian elections. “Under those conditions, the internet helped people,” said Ebadi. “Each person became a journalist and we saw videos from people’s mobiles.”
If the Internet won the Nobel Peace Prize, the next step in the initiative for peace would be to get everyone connected. “We need to protect the Internet’s freedom and create a bill of rights,” Luna said. “That will protect the truths.”
No word yet on where the $1.4 million prize will go if the Internet becomes the first non-human to win.