Is it possible to...

Posted November 05, 2006 by Evan Tishuk

Everything written is, at best, a metaphor for a hidden reality. We rely on anaolgies and generalizations to merely approach a "full understanding." So my analogy de jour is that the internet is an echo of how the human brain really works. Hyperlinks are the same as mental links. The hard drives that store these words are the longest of long-term memories. The fiberoptics are the nerves.

Think about an elephant right now. You can probably rattle off dozens of words and ideas--gray, trunk, republican, largest land mammal, pachyderm, never forgets. Your mental hard drives just scanned for links to the elephant concept, translated those to words and delivered them via nerve fibers to your communication channels. The same thing happens when you type "elephant" into Google and scan the top ten results, or better still, find the wikipedia entry. The internet is the global nervous system of the industrialized world, replete with memories, senses, and rapid recall.

[Berners-Lee] said the new Web institute will try to foresee the next wave of Internet problems before they become crises.

The next step is consciousness. "Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug." No need for an institute, the Terminator already answered that question.


olivier blanchard ~ November 06, 2006

The internet is like, a construct of somethingsomethingsomething.

Evan Tishuk ~ November 06, 2006

I guess that's as good a description as any.

jimmy ~ November 07, 2006

Wait till IPv6 comes out and you can't comprehend a friggin 128-bit number.

The actual next step in the evolution of the internet is the ability for it to run every type of communication. With the Communication on one, scalable, cheap platform based upon easy to code standards, the next generation of services, entertainment, and communication and technologoy will be quick to implement then ever before. You will be able to think up a new business and have it running the next week.

I can't wait to watch movies in hologram form!

olivier blanchard ~ November 07, 2006

I can't remember where I read this, but it was about a year ago, and it was a statistic that pointed to the fact that more people around the globe experience their first taste of the internet through a portable device like a cell phone or PDA than a computer.

That's a pretty big shift from three or four years ago, when the internet was mostly accessed from personal computers.

In order for the evolution that you guys are talking about to take place, the interface also needs to evolve. Laptops are cool, but still too big. Cell phones are portable, but too small and limited. Also, being connected 24/7 is going to require the interface to be 'benevolent.' In other words, it can't be spamming us every ten minutes. It can't be beeping at us every twenty seconds.

Holy moly. I just had an idea. Gotta run.

ihatetrucks ~ November 08, 2006

The next step in internet revolution will be when mattel introduces the first lego based computer. This way when you get mad at the internet or at the below average results from an herbal enlargement product you heard about in an email from you can just boot your computer across the room and not worry about it, you can always rebuild. I love legos, I miss building lego castles and then torturing small animals in the dungon.

nobrainer ~ November 08, 2006

The Legos bring up an interesting question.

With Legos of course, you can put the same building blocks togtether in a plethora of ways to achieve different outcomes.

Is this possible with a computer, or perhaps the internet? Or are the building blocks each too unique to?

Evan Tishuk ~ November 08, 2006

@ Nobrainer: Yes, to an extent, but to play with those infrastructural "legos" you still need a PhD. On a smaller scale though, isn't that what you're doing already when you write a blog post, or link to another site? You're essentially snapping in a new lego or reorganizing ones that were already there.

ihatetrucks ~ November 08, 2006


olivier blanchard ~ November 09, 2006

I just want a mood interface that I can set by turning a little wheel (like the one on my Canon EOS 20D), that lets my internet device know what type of information (and how much of it) I want to a) be exposed to, and b) interact with.

Like, if I'm in a bad mood, it acts like a gatekeeper... but it might search for something that will make me laugh or cheer me up all on its own because it's smart that way. And I don't mean lame pictures of kittens holding sniper rifles either. That's just weird.

Or if I'm in an inquisitive mood, it might hook me up with a great little SEED podcast (one can hope) or dig for a microcommunity of what some might call "kindred spirits"... except they'd call it something else because the term has already been claimed and trampled to death by the space cadets over on the not-so-West-End.

Jesus. If I hear that term one more time, my head is going to pop like a balloon.

Oh hell, just hook my brain up with a USB port and let her rip.

ihatetrucks ~ November 09, 2006

Somewhere in the vast universe that is the internet is a picture of a bunch of quake losers where one of them is procreating with a computer. If I am not in a good mood, I think my laptop is in the perfect postion to due something about it.

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