Week 1 Reading Assignment



While at face value, these reading samples are well out of each other’s topographical realms there is a certain flow that leads from the capitalization of social and technological identity to the natural flow of humanity. Humanity as defined by both the individual and the whole is a finite entity and while it is sometimes a leap, I believe the selections have an implied connection.

To make this connection we will begin by creating “variables” for the ideas in each selection. Rosen’s, “The Web Means the End of Forgetting”, hits at the beginning of this connection by showing the evolutionary step from the group think mentality to the social (network) think mentality. This shows that ideas of morality, justice, good and evil, and many other social norms and abnormalities for that matter are being classified by a technological consensus. With almost immediate access to information both trivial and imperative we are being bombarded with new ideas and thoughts on how and why we can live our lives. Sometimes even as we get these ideas we get the placement of social hierarchy that comes along with it. Not only that we are becoming defined by the record of our actions and not our intent or the simple courtesy of circumstantial forgiveness.

This unforgiving-forgetting social think connection,  as pointed out by Joy, in “…The future Doesn’t Need Us”, is a form  of technological immortality in innovation.  Within many of his apocalyptic visions of the future it begins with the “free market” or capitalization of this advancement, which is noted in Vogelstein’s “The great Wall of Facebook”.  As Google and Facebook vie for control of the data or thought patterns of societies social collective mind, we begin to see the connection bud between the frivolous nature of social networking and the Doomsday crying of Joy.


At the end of the day, two trains of thought, as far as use, generally mark the advent of technological advancement: social change and military application.  While social networking and the communication revolution of the Internet have changed the very nature of what we consider community, period, it is also undeniable that the possibilities for exploitation or endless.  Psychological warfare can win wars as surely as WMDs, a fact that has been proven time and time throughout history. What better resource for this battle of the minds the collective social compass of society.

Finally, if this social collective mind was the natural evolution given the advent of the Internet, then what is the next step when applying Joy’s idea of technological and biological merger? As Norman points out in “Natural Interfaces are not Natural” many of the acts of communication we form, even in the innovations of our new smart phones are not natural. Arguably, the only natural way to communicate would be in the format to which we begin our ideas we wish to communicate: thought. The next step, in my mind, achieving both immortality and maximum communication is the technological connection of biological beings in a hive mindset, both metaphorically and physically.

If this does become the case and machines are simply an extension of the hive minds need for sustenance then this could possibly break the cycle of dystopian society and present a viable utopia. This said, there is much to be loss. The draw back of any hive society is that the individual is lost. In the bombardment of billions of minds instantly connected by thought and not the illusion of instant transmission formatted by the very quick but un natural interface of the internet, will we be able to even differentiate between these individuals any more then we can differentiate between the firing of different synapses in our own brain?

1 comment

  1. Great way to build connections between the articles!

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