"Part of our evolution as a species"

Jonathan Coulton in a recent interview (via Gigaom):

I, for one, think that the internet is one of the greatest human achievements, ever. It’s an amazing tool and we have only just begun to explore the possibilities. To me, it feels like it’s a part of our evolution as a species. I value it as much as I value the Bill of Rights.

Grandiose? Perhaps. Exactly right? I think so. Aside from a few "as big as the printing press" comments, we don't hear much about the impact of the Internet on a species level. Someone like Clay Shirky comes to mind, but I don't believe that the average person out there using the Internet thinks much about exactly what it is that they're doing. (I don't mean to ignore the thousands of academics doing research on the effects of the Internet on society.)

In the grand scheme of things, the Internet is still a baby but it has changed the world many times over. I can't wait to see where we are in ten years. I'll bet we won't recognize it.