January 23, 2009
This is something I wrote while working on the 3rd part of my 3 part piece, but it seemed like too much of an aside from my main point, and it was also too long to leave in as just an aside. Luckily, I have a blog, so any semi-coherent piece of writing I manage to churn out can immediately be published for public consumption!
One worry that has been voiced here by Ted, and which I agree would be a very bad thing were it to occur, is a scenario where everyone ends up constantly jacked into a world wide internet, ala the Matrix, while the nature and the real world fall by the wayside.
The trouble with this is that people on the internet require content, and that real world content is the best there is. No one prefers purely computer-created content, no matter how real it can be made to look, and no one likes content that has just been recycled from the internet either.
It all has to be filtered through a living mind, and infused with new meaning and interconnectivity, in order for people to value it. It is the stamp of personality on the information that gives it value, and personality can only be created by struggling with real-world embodied emotional challenges. The more we use the real world as a resource for content (content = meaningful information groupings), the more we will come to value it. All technologies have a good and a bad side, and it’s our job to maximize the good effect and minimize the bad, until it emphemeralizes into a stable level of higher complexity (more thoughts on that are coalescing as well, and will be focused on after part 3 is finished!)
And so, the Matrix scenario is, I think, a focus on only part of the growth pattern of internet technology in general, taken to it’s extreme logical conclusion. But it’s this part only, without any outside sources acting upon it during it’s growth process.
Due to the wonder of dependent arrising, this isn’t possible. As long as people are worried about such a negative outcome, and they act on (or at least voice) those worries, a Matrix-type scenario would be easily avoided before it could ever start.
The spreading of open information sharing is leading back to the re-valuation and appreciation of natural human talent as the best source of true content.