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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

REALITY BYTES: Web Erases Boundaries Of Home, Workplace




Is the town where you live also the town where you work? If so, would you like to change this arrangement?


Many people would, and can't wait until the moment arrives when they will be able to live where they like and work where the pay is good.


There's no doubt about it f the 21st century will see people living at whatever distance they like from their work. With an Iridium satellite telephone connected to a Palmpilot pocket computer you're already in business f soon mobile phone connections will be available everywhere at a speed today's average Motorola owner can only dream about.


In the United States you can already live, work and relax without leaving your house f what will the situation be in a few years from now? Home will be wherever the Internet is f everywhere, in other words. You'll collect the salary the New York company pays you from your local bank machine in Bombay.


The Golden Age of nomads has almost begun. For example, where do you think I'm writing this column? Maybe I have a superb view of the Seine from my window, maybe I'm relaxing on my couch in Rio de Janeiro drinking caipirinha after an exhausting business trip to the Amazon, or maybe I'm really living it up on an island in the White Sea, washing down the cod I caught an hour ago with a delicious cocktail composed of medical spirit and lemons.


Anton Nosik wrote the Russian daily Vecherny Internet from Israel for two years, but no one could have guessed until Anton himself mentioned it in an interview for the magazine Mir Internet. The authors of Gazeta.ru, it has been said, are spread across the world "from Toronto to Haifa" f the Internet does not recognize country borders or oceans.


Journalists, web designers and programmers already know what real freedom means. It doesn't matter where they live and what they do for kicks, the fruits of their labor are easily sent over the net and money placed on their global credit card accounts. Sysadmin from Tobolsk works for Microsoft, Dmitry Kirsanov designed the web site for American company Quiotix.


Soon to join the vagabonds' club are teachers, illustrators and stock brokers. A primitive version of study by long distance already exists (we can see and hear our old professor, and he can see and hear us, but we live in Seoul and he lives in Copenhagen). All artists need is a scanner; you can play the stock exchange through the Internet every day of the week, but not everyone has wised up to this yet.


What will happen in a week's time is anyone's guess. The future will see pediatrists and even surgeons growing wings: Operations have already been carried out successfully over the net.


Do we really need this sort of freedom? We'll see in 20 years. At any rate, real freedom, as Thomas Woolf wrote "lies beyond this wearying world, and can only be bought with the unrelenting courage possessed by the very few."


Daniil Dougaev writes on computers for Kariera-Kapital, a Russian language newspaper published in St. Petersburg by Independent Media.