David Bowie may have predicted the future of the internet decades earlier

November 26th, 2020

One of the most influential artists of the 20th century may have potentially predicted the future of the internet…in 1999.

The internet, as we know it, has transformed our lives in the most unimaginable way. The “information superhighway” has helped connect people in so many ways and has been instrumental in the advancement of society. Sadly, there are also some downsides to it. For legendary music icon David Bowie, the internet is not just a tool, but rather, a sort of an alien-looking form–a part of something much more complex and unknown.

Back in 1999, Bowie, regarded as one on the best rock stars in history, appeared in an interview with BBC to talk about the creative reinvention of himself, including his alter ego Ziggy Stardust. The discussion transitioned into talking about the potential of the internet, to which the artist raised some strong points. “I think the potential of what the internet is going to do to society, both good and bad, is unimaginable. I think we’re actually on a cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying,” Bowie told BBC.

Calling the internet an alien-like form, the artist may have predicted what many of us are seeing and experiencing right now. True, the internet paved the way for digital transformation which continues to make our lives easier in so many ways, but, perhaps one of its downside is the spread of fake news and misinformation.

Sensing a disconnect with what the English singer-songwriter was saying, the interviewer rebutted by suggesting that the internet is just a tool and was a simple delivery system. Bowie quickly disagreed emphasizing that “the actual context and the state of content is going to be so different to anything we envisage at the moment,” and that “it’s going to crush our ideas of what mediums are all about.”

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