"The realm of the born - all that is nature - and the realm of the made - all that is humanly constructed - are becoming one."
Out Of Control Kevin Kelly
The situation is simple: We are no longer alone. We share the planet with the machines we gave birth to. Selfishly, as can be the easy attitude of any parent, we expect our baby to behave like us, to respect us. Even to like us.
So we try to twist it to fit our image, we put desktops on TV screens, we plug mice into them so we can point to things, we transpose documents and tools onto them and draw little pictures of telephones and pencils to help us get around.
As we do this, our baby is growing up, with its own nature, its own strengths and weaknesses.
Only if we look and listen and learn without prejudice can we truly benefit from the incredible revolution.
"The medium, or process, of our time - electric technology is reshaping and restructuring patterns of social interdependence and every aspect of our personal life.
It is forcing us to reconsider and re-evaluate practically every thought, every action, and every institution formerly taken for granted.
Everything is changing: you, your family, your education, your neighborhood, your job, your government, your relation to "the others. And they're changing dramatically."
The Medium is The Massage, Marshall McLuhan
I feel very strongly we can move far beyond where we are today, and take flight with the new opportunities around us. Don't let Microsoft Word discourage you. There is real power in the developing hardware and software of the developing eInformation environments. Real power we have to look for, not just try to impose, not try to decree should be there. Imposing our current views on how machines should behave has taken us this far, but it cannot take us much further.
But that is our job, that of the concerned computer geek. Don't worry, we will rein in the beast, we will extract its potential.
For now, The Liquid Information Company, whose this is the philosophical site, is struggling with keeping the observation and experimentation of the machines in harmony with the daily and important grind of making these damn machines behave. Greatly inspired and humbled by the piercing insight of the pioneers; Ada Lovelace, Vannervar Bush, JCR Licklieder, Douglas Englebart, Don Norman, the people at PARC, and the pirates at Apple, we work with great humility on what we consider the most important threat and opportunity facing our generation; will cyberspace swallow us, will we become slaves to the machines, or maybe even as frightening - is this as good as it's gonna get; the TV watch, the relatively intelligent assistant, the five thousand channel TV and the ultra-realistic Quake 400?
Or will we thrive and grow in harmony with the networked computers?
"It is not so much the organism or the species that evolves, but the entire system, species plus environment."
Out Of Control Kevin Kelly
It is with the pioneers in mind and the depth and breath of their achievement that we are given hope that we can indeed, create ever better mind augmentation environment so we won't have to settle for the dishings out of Microsoft and their zombie IT nerd minions.
"The changes that tomorrow's computer interfaces are going to cause in the minds of millions of people are good and necessary, considering the fact that we are entering the home stretch in our race against extinction. Personal computers that evolve from contraptions to companions in less than one human life span are part of an overall acceleration of the biosphere's system for becoming conscious enough to take control. The cellular circuit resonates with the neural circuit, the communication circuit, and the whole planet waking up to itself in the nick of time." Timothy Leary (The Art Of Interface Design)
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