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Death of the Internet, Cont’d.

State of the Union: Google appears to be having second thoughts about the usefulness of the Internet.
Mountain,View,,Ca/usa,December,29,,2016:,Googleplex,-,Google,Headquarters
(Uladzik Kryhin/Shutterstock)

Per CNBC, the search and web services titan Google has fallen out of love with... the web.

Google on Wednesday is starting a new pilot program where some employees will be restricted to internet-free desktop PCs, CNBC has learned.

The company originally selected more than 2,500 employees to participate, but after receiving feedback, the company revised the pilot to allow employees to opt out, as well as opening it up to volunteers. The company will disable internet access on the select desktops, with the exception of internal web-based tools and Google-owned websites like Google Drive and Gmail. Some workers who need the internet to do their job will get exceptions, the company stated in materials.

This seems less trivial when one considers how much developers use web-based resources to do things like troubleshooting. (Sayanora, Stack Overflow!) Without reading too much into these tea leaves, I do think it tends to support an idea that I have floated before: The era in which the Internet as the great driver of creativity and human cultural movement is over. As I wrote in the linked column,

What is already happening is that internet users’ online behaviors, particularly their socialization, are being relegated to private Slacks, Discords, and Signal chats; these in turn congeal around particular message-boards and forums. The era of everyone talking to everyone all the time is over.

Honestly, thank God.