Accelerating Change


A recent slashdotted lecture on accelerating change reminded me of a post I wanted to make.

I feel more knowledgeable when I am online, especially when chatting online. I can check facts and quickly make arguments. The process is transparent to the person I am talking to so it looks as if I know more than I actually do.

Lately this feeling has shifted and it feels more like that I am part of something bigger. There exists this entity, internet + people, that I am part of. Computers by themselves have very limited interaction with the world, and this is part of the reason they are dumb. But this entity has millions of cells (people) that do interact with the world. IT gathers lots of information this way, and distributes it. IT is now highly knowledgeable. IT is pretty smart. The computers don’t make sophisticated decisions, but the cells do. The cells then either feed more data back into the computers or goes out and interacts with the world. IT is growing quickly. IT’s major short coming is that IT is highly schizophrenic. I suspect as IT grows IT will become more organized and IT’s cells will interact with the world in a more coordinated manner. IT is slowly becoming self aware; this is witnessed by the fact that I am writing this and you are reading this.

Similar to the chinese room and the Gaia hypothesis, IT’s intelligence / life comes from the system as a whole, rather than any particular piece.



Russell O’Connor: contact me