Optimism and Empowerment.
As the century drew to a close, the potential for human invention and understanding appeared boundless. Scientific understanding expanded daily, from the fundamental building blocks of matter to the source code of all life to the origins, and perhaps the eventual demise, of the universe. The technological advances of the 1990s ushered in what appeared to be a social and economic revolution that would rival the Industrial Revolution two centuries earlier, creating a new society of technologically connected citizens with a world of digitized information, commerce, and communication at its fingertips. The new "Digital Age," represented by the "Information Superhighway" was not all-inclusive, threatened to leave many behind, including older citizens and those who could not afford the new technology. Still, by 1999 more than three-quarters of the U.S. population was "plugged in" to the new digital society, and...
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