We are the Web

We are the Web

Summary: Worth reading: When I got home I cracked open my new issue (yes, I still enjoy a good dose of printed pages) of Wired (August 2005) and came upon Kevin Kelly's article "We are the Web." He gives his view of where the digital world came from and where it's heading.

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TOPICS: Start-Ups
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Worth reading: When I got home I cracked open my new issue (yes, I still enjoy a good dose of printed pages) of Wired (August 2005) and came upon Kevin Kelly's article "We are the Web." He gives his view of where the digital world came from and where it's heading. It's a romantic, profound and compelling vision, and likely more right than wrong. Here is Kelly's coda:

Three thousand years from now, when keen minds review the past, I believe that our ancient time, here at the cusp of the third millennium, will be seen as another such era. In the years roughly coincidental with the Netscape IPO, humans began animating inert objects with tiny slivers of intelligence, connecting them into a global field, and linking their own minds into a single thing. This will be recognized as the largest, most complex, and most surprising event on the planet. Weaving nerves out of glass and radio waves, our species began wiring up all regions, all processes, all facts and notions into a grand network. From this embryonic neural net was born a collaborative interface for our civilization, a sensing, cognitive device with power that exceeded any previous invention. The Machine provided a new way of thinking (perfect search, total recall) and a new mind for an old species. It was the Beginning.
In retrospect, the Netscape IPO was a puny rocket to herald such a moment. The product and the company quickly withered into irrelevance, and the excessive exuberance of its IPO was downright tame compared with the dotcoms that followed. First moments are often like that. After the hysteria has died down, after the millions of dollars have been gained and lost, after the strands of mind, once achingly isolated, have started to come together - the only thing we can say is: Our Machine is born. It's on.

Topic: Start-Ups

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  • And proudly we salute the flag...

    ... that waves as the Machine turns on.

    When the first world government is formed, it will be called Macrosoft in honor of its progenitor and principle funder.
    Anton Philidor
    • It can be argued...

      ...that it is the spirit of projects like Open Source that lend to information sharing that would produce this infant machine brain. The only real thing Microsoft did was be the OS of the cheap machine. I wouldn't even attribute proliferation of the PC to Microsoft, because it was IBM using cloneable technology that really broke open the market.

      It could even being said that Internet acceptance happened inspite of, instead of with the help of, Microsoft. But indeed they played a role. Like many, many others.

      In the end I think it is the open projects that will bring the world together, if it can happen at all. Wikipedia, open source and such like. I'm not really saying this to be anti-microsoft or whatever. its just the practicality of being a company and not a movement. Companies are not really about bringing people together, movements are.
      Zinoron
      • Microsoft is constrained by profits...

        Their costs will do them in.
        ordaj9
  • Its been done

    Isaac Asimov and his "Foundation" (c1951) trilogy brought up the notion of storing the sum knowledge of mankind. His storage medium for such a database was limited by his knowledge at the time, but he certainly saw this comming a LONG TIME before the latest "Wired" magazine.
    Roger Ramjet
    • Actually, humans already have unlimited storage...

      ...it'll probably turn out to be our "junk" DNA. These encapsulate all our genetic memories back to the beginning. We only remember some of them and oftentimes mistakenly call them "instinct."
      ordaj9
  • A geek and his Startrek references

    The more I learn about the world and its trends, the more I see our future as the Borg and not the Federation. Hopefully we'll be a bit more stylish about it.

    Before the end of this century I invision a commercial for... "Wi-fi to the brain, baby!" and, at least for the rich, programmable artificial robotic immune systems that not only can respond to any new disease but repair the cellular damage of aging. I'll leave my more outlandish claims and consequences for another day.

    By the time machines are smart enough to try and take over the earth, nobody will be able to distinguish the difference between a human and machine.
    Zinoron
    • Taking over the world

      [By the time machines are smart enough to try and take over the earth, nobody will be able to distinguish the difference between a human and machine.]

      For what reason would machines WANT to take over the world?
      Roger Ramjet
      • For that matter, why would...

        ...anyone want to take over the world? There are already many unfathomly rich and powerful people that already have everything a person could want. What's the point in having more? I don't admire them, anyway.
        ordaj9
      • The machines

        "For what reason would machines WANT to take over the world?"

        I don't know, honestly. Just seems to be what the movies say they will do when they're smart enough. Because you know, machines are perfectly logical and super smart. So they must be evil and want to control us!

        I merely wanted to point out that by the time they would be capable of such an act, we would have converged to the point that the distinction would be academic at best.
        Zinoron
    • More like Soylent Green

      "Those That Have" will simply limit "Those That Don't"'s access to technology/information to serve their purposes exclusively. It is already starting - polarization is the first step. You are either with us or against us.
      nottheusual1