It recently dawned on me that we are in an age of information imperialism. Small communities of people used to have their own private stores of knowledge that were distinct to their local communities. That local knowledge defined and bonded them.
The internet broadly has opened all of those local pockets and connected everyone and their knowledge to a powerful global infrastructure, not unlike how the railroad and steamships of the 19th century connected the globe. And, in so doing, it has destroyed a lot of these local communities.