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Not Evenly Distributed | The Future Has Arrived

Posted on 16 June 2016 in News
- Infographic by Ole Häntzschel. Source: Data interpreted from World Bank (2015), Meeker (2015), ITU (2015), GSMA, Wikipedia

The next post comes from Robert Maharajh, writer, journalist and commissioning editor of the Not Evenly Distributed blog project and Ole Häntzschel, a graphic designer who specialises in illustrative maps.

‘The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed’. William Gibson can’t remember when he first began using this oft-quoted maxim, but it was possibly around 1999, most likely a lot earlier. Given that this is a field where the accepted yardstick is Moore’s law – which states that technological capacity doubles every two years – that’s aeons ago. This blog series aims to re-assess Gibson’s words from a 2016 standpoint.

The most comprehensive global data on the spread of digital technologies comes from ‘Digital Dividends’, a recent report issued by the World Bank, which makes for grim reading. Despite the rapid spread of digital technologies, the internet remains inaccessible and/or unaffordable to the majority of the world’s population: more than 4.3 billion people worldwide do not have any internet access, nearly two billion do not use a mobile phone, and almost half a billion live outside areas with a mobile signal.

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[Image: Infographic by Ole Häntzschel. Source: Data interpreted from World Bank (2015), Meeker (2015), ITU (2015), GSMA, Wikipedia]