Part of the problem, Demeny realized, was that as democratic societies aged, so did their politics. After all, the elderly had a vote, while children did not. Gray voters used that power to shift public expenditures toward themselves, sometimes funding these programs by borrowing against the earning power of the rising generation of workers.

Widows, either abandoned by their family members or shunned by society, find their life’s last refuge in various government run shelters such as this one. They come here from all across the country, but mostly from Bengal, where they survive by begging and chanting hymns in temples.

It is now possible for everyone on the planet to have access to all the information humans have ever produced. The barriers to this utopian dream are not technological, but legal and economic. When we manage to solve these problems, we will be able to unlock vast pools of human potential that have hitherto been inaccessible. In the future this will be viewed as a turning point in human history, and economic advances generated by global access to all information will be recognized as the true value of the internet.