Mass communications ramble coming up:
There are still a few of us around who are able to recall life before computers, and therefore before the internet. Heck - I can even remember life before television! Mass communication, in those days, came via newspapers and radio, and to a lesser extent via film and newsreels at the cinema.
First time I saw a TV working was for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Jupiter, appropriately enough, was in Gemini at that time! A few neighbours, my parents, grandparents and I piled into the home of a local business woman who had the only set in the village where my grandparents lived.
I remember when the very first mention of computers reached my delicate ears. It was around 1966/7, a little later than the 1965 Jupiter in Gemini transit. I'd been working for a few months for a local Devonshire (England) 'bus company in the accounts office. One of the senior employees had been sent on a training course, on his return he regaled us with tales of the binary system leaving our brains limp and imaginations reeling. All we had to work with in those days were very basic mechanical adding machines - one step up from the abacus; similar to but less sophisticated than that illustrated. Having, out of necessity, trained my non-mathematical brain to add long columns of figures in hotel ledgers, I often opted to "do it in my head" rather than tackle the awkward adder.
None of us could have possibly envisaged the amazing developments we've seen during ensuing decades and Jupiter in Gemini transits. Online banking, shopping, social networking, smartphones, ipads..... spam, porn sites, viruses, malware, trojans, Facebook, Twitter - the good, the bad and the ugly of it all. I am well aware that my own life turned in a very unexpected direction, all due to the internet, for it was through the net that husband and I met.
There's a downside to these developments and changes though - there's always a downside. Over roughly the same time span: from TV sets becoming commonplace, followed rapidly by computer development - up to the present, corporate power has risen in tandem. Now multinational corporations own media, at least they do in the USA and have tentacles worldwide. TV has become a major arm of the coprorations' mass brain-washing system. Oh, they'd been doing it before TV, but the opening up of mass communication made it so much easier!
I recently saw a remark in a thread of comments pointing out that mass communication has been the most powerful invention of man. The commenter was contradicted by another who proposed that nuclear bombs and weapons really take the "most powerful invention" title. The first commenter responded with: "What is more powerful...20 million dead people or 20 million people doing whatever you tell them?"
The solution? For ordinary souls such as I, and passing readers who do not wish to divest ourselves completely of access to television, computer and internet, all we can do is remain aware of the potential weaponry in our living rooms. We can try to limit corporations' access to our own grey matter by choosing carefully what to read, watch and listen to. We must never forget possible sub-text and remember to keep in mind always this question: who is "paying the piper"?