n Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering = Joernaal van die Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut van Siviele Ingenieurswese - Civil engineering in cyberspace : technical paper




In die Dark Ages man had to rely on his strength, senses and instinct to survive and succeed in society. Today he relies on knowledge and on his ability to acquire knowledge. In future, man will have to depend on his ability to process and manipulate information. During a recent symposium o Telecommunication and Broadcasting, Prof Eli Noam of the University of Columbia painted the following picture: In the past, broadcasting was the sole responsibility of the monopoly broadcaster not unlike our own public broadcaster. At present, the monopoly broadcaster is giving way to multi-channelled cable broadcaster with anything from 50 to several hundred channels. In future, there will be only the 'me-channel', in other words, one personalized channel. This channel will be customized to the viewer's needs and interests and it will draw on a global database of voice, picture, movie and data, a parallel universe of information sustained by the world's computers and communication lines - CYBERSPACE. Inevitably, the civil engineer will have to find his surfing feel in cyberspace, as it is likely to become his primary source of information and interaction in the years to come. Even today there is an enormous wealth of information available on the Internet that concerns the civil engineer. This paper endeavours to inform the civil engineer on the possibilities of cyberspace.


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