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By 2040 we should have at least a few more billion people connected to cyberspace, some very intimately. The range of available connectivity, devices, and media will continue to diverge with haves and have-nots.

I suppose the right definition is "to move, lie, or extend in different directions from a common point; branch off" but I don't understand what exactly will be diverged. Perhaps someone could explain the idea of the sentence in other words?

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    It's basically to branch off. It's not to lie or to move. When something diverges, the parts split up into many pieces. In this case, into many media stuff. – Alejandro Jan 13 '16 at 16:10
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The difference in the level of connection to cyberspace between the haves and have-nots is what will grow over time. Consider all the different ways one can connect to cyberspace and what abilities one has, e.g. smartphones, laptops, tablets, and desktops for starters, and ponder what kinds of things will these be able to do in 2040. How many hours a day will some people spend on their devices so that they could be seen as living on-line while others may have no knowledge of this vast network of millions of machines, which may well be a conservative estimate here.

Consider people today that don't know what e-mail is, have zero social network accounts and could wonder, "What do you y'all do with all those computer thingies?" as these would be the have-nots while someone with a laptop or smartphone may well be a have in using the devices to stay in touch, apply for jobs and other functions that can be done through social media and e-mail.

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  • "Haves and have-nots" usually refers to rich and poor, so when I read that sentence I was thinking that he meant that the rich would have more and more computerized devices while the poor would continue to have little or none. But it's certainly possible he meant, not rich versus poor, but computer-savvy versus non-computer-savvy. Hard to say without reading the larger context. – Jay Jan 13 '16 at 17:53
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I would call this a misuse of diverge.

One thing may be said to diverge from another, or two or more things may be said to diverge from each other, and in both cases the from phrase may be left unspoken if its oblique is recoverable from context.

In this case, however, it is a single range which is said to diverge, and it is not clear that it diverges from anything in particular. It seems that what the author means is something like:

The ranges of devices &c available respectively to the haves and to the have-nots will diverge.

The problem may arise because the author tangles up two different applications of the term range: on the one hand it refers to an expanding range of devices &c on the market, and on the other to the relatively narrow range of devices &c available to the have-nots. I'd write something like:

But the expanding range of connectivity, devices and services will mean an increasing gap between those who have access to these goods and those who do not.

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