Posts Tagged ‘revolution’

A new machine?

April 21, 2009

The video, The Machine is Us/ing Us got me thinking…

This whole concept of a machine (the internet) that is not only an extension of ourselves, but actually part of ourselves (the human race) has pretty profound implications. Everything that the past two modules of this class have touched upon seems to be leading to the same eventual conclusion. Not only is the Internet revolutionary, informatory, and the future of writing and media, but it seems to me that given its wide-ranging power for collaboration and communications, it will one day bring almost everybody with internet access together.

I mean this not in the stereotypical peace, happiness, end of racism manner, but in the manner of a unified, almost “hive” mentality. This is a huge stretch, but I’m not talking about the immediate future. Perhaps a hundred, if not more years from now, when the internet that we now know has taken on some wild, exotic, super highly technological form, we might all be part of a giant, collaborative groupthink network, where everybody knows everything, everybody knows their role and everybody works together. As a society, we currently cherish individualism, but I think that individualism and varying ideals always causes conflict. Being one in the same could be the closest we could ever get to utopia and one day individualism might have to go out the window.

Perhaps one day we’ll have the Internet implanted in our minds. It might look like we’re asleep in class but we’re really on Future-Facebook, or we’re really tweeting about continuum transfunctioners with beta extrapolation capabilities (just made that up). It’s a pretty cool idea. We can all know everything without really knowing anything. Maybe one day we can download the entire pool of human knowledge directly into our minds. It would be like the training scene in the matrix… and the educational system will be obsolete (Sorry Dr. Wolff).


The internet as it now exists would be baffling and incompressible to anyone from a century ago and I think given the rate at which technology is picking up, this idea of a unified hive mentality where we can all know everything isn’t really that far-fetched. It’s the post-humanist dream, I suppose—the complete merger of man and machine, but for the complete benefit of every man, woman and child.

It’s even possible that machine intelligence will surpass ours within even our own lifetimes, given the implications of Moore’s law. For this to happen, new computing methods are necessary (quantum computing) because you can only fit so many transistors onto a piece of silicon. It seems that throughout the course of history, the unthinkable will always become not only the thinkable, but the status quo. We used to say that the world was flat… right?