But suppose you couldn't. A Slashdot reader asks What would we lose from a regionalized Internet?
If the internet was separated into regions, how much would you lose? How often do you visit other countries' web sites? How often do you e-mail people in other countries? What would foreigners lose by not being able to visit US-hosted sites, and how quickly would they be able to recreate what they lost? What other process that we are not normally aware of depend on a borderless internet?As an academic an international internet has gone from being a useful tool to a critical part of scientific progress. Yesterday alone I had four conversations with different scientists abroad on topics like collaborations on conference and journal papers, conference organization and recommendation letters. Many of my co-authors live abroad and my research would greatly suffer if I could not so easily communicate with my colleagues. Right now I can collaborate with a researchers in Israel as easily as one in New York.
Beyond that I download papers off of researchers homepages abroad and they download my papers from mine. Archive and online journal sites would have to be sychronized on different parts of a separated internet, a difficult task to maintain. Tools like Citeseer which seek out online papers would not function as well. And many of you would not be reading this post—Nearly a third of the readers of this weblog reside outside the US. And how would Luca write to us from China about his travels there?
Speaking of Slashdot, Zeev Dvir writes
Just wanted to let you know about the current Slashdot poll on whether P = NP. The comments are hilarious.Sigh.