The drastic changes of 19th century American expansion share characteristics with the digital revolution. Here are some points for comparison:
1. Americans were heading to the physical frontier then and now we face the digital frontier
2. As quoted in Turner's 1893 text, "We are great, and rapidly--I was about to say fearfully--growing!" We have this paradox today: the digital world is so great and advancing so swiftly. . . but is that frightening? What are the consequences of a digital renaissance?
3. Turner also writes that "the frontier is the outer edge of the wave--the meeting point between savagery and civilization." Much that is associated with the digital world, like informality, is a drastic departure from the expected decorum of the past.
4. Thoreau's Walden is a return to simplicity from an increasingly complex world. Some people resist the digital onslaught of information, like those people who refuse to get facebook.
I found a great video that illustrates our expansion into the digital frontier:
The most significant fact from that movie for me was this: "It is estimated that a week's worth of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century."
Now, I don't know how anyone could come up with such a statistic, but it is interesting to note that we truly live in a more complex world since we have access to masses of information.
Do Tibetan students feel overwhelmed as I do with the mass of information in the digital frontier? How do Tibetans in India perceive the digital frontier?