How has the Internet changed the way you think?
John Brockman’s question of the year. Nice. And he has asked a bunch of interesting people to respond. The link below is to John Brockman’s conclusion followed by Kevin Kelly’s. There are plenty more there, to explore.
THE WORLD QUESTION CENTER 2009— Page 1:
“Guess what?” the first man said. “We’re talking.” Silence. The others looked at him with suspicion. “What’s ‘talking’?” a second man asked. “It’s what we’re all doing, right now. We’re talking!” “You’re crazy,” the third man said. “I never heard of such a thing!” “I’m not crazy,” the first man said. “You’re crazy. We’re talking.” Talking, undoubtedly, was considered innate and natural until the first man rendered it visible by exclaiming, “We’re talking.” A new invention has emerged, a code for the collective conscious, which requires a new way of thinking. The collective externalized mind is the mind we all share. The Internet is the infinite oscillation of our collective conscious interacting with itself. It’s not about computers. It’s not about what it means to be human — in fact it challenges, renders trite, our cherished assumptions on that score. It’s about thinking. “We’re talking.”
We are developing an intense, sustained conversation with this large thing. The fact that it is made up of a million loosely connected pieces is distracting us. The producers of Websites, and the hordes of commenters online, and the movie moguls reluctantly letting us stream their movies, don’t believe they are mere pixels in a big global show, but they are. It is one thing now, an intermedia with 2 billion screens peering into it. The whole ball of connections — including all its books, all its pages, all its tweets, all its movies, all its games, all its posts, all its streams — is like one vast global book (or movie, etc.), and we are only beginning to learn how to read it. Knowing that this large thing is there, and that I am in constant communication with it, has changed how I think.