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The Machine is Us/ing Us (Final Version)

one of our teachers sent this link to all the instructors in our social science department. it's pretty interesting.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 24th, 2007 08:43 am (UTC)
AAAAAH!!!! XML=Skynet! Watch out, the Terminators are just around the corner! Each time you upload a YouTube video, you are giving Skynet more neurons!

Oh, pththt.

Fascinating thesis, in some respects, in others, a completly over-emphasized bit of hooey. Extensible Markup Language (XML) is not going to be the agent by which human beings rethink love and family and the most basic essentials of human interaction. It is a tool of communication, and the human social structure will incorporate the interaction it facilitates, the same way it did the (granted, revolutionary) interaction the moveable-type printing press first allowed.

Definite food for thought, though, and indeed a necessary emphasis on the verbal-visual communicative interconnectivity currently in its nascent stages: and definitely supportive of my own personal thesis that "there are a helluva lot of ways to be human" (probably stolen, certainly trite, but something I firmly believe).

Dammit, MLR. Now I'm gonna be thinking on this for weeks.

Also? Thanks, MLR! Now I'm gonna be thinking on this for weeks!
Oct. 24th, 2007 09:20 am (UTC)
Haha, SkyNet!!! ... of all the "evil future computers" what made you think of SkyNet? Didn't have anything to do with me testing the surround sound using the T2 DVD? Hehe.

But yes, I believe that we've lost a lot more humanity in the wars we've had in the past ten years than the usage of the Internet since 1997.
Oct. 24th, 2007 09:09 am (UTC)
Hehe, funny that someone mentioned that, a recent friend of mine and I were talking about the WEB being one of the gifts artist have received in the last ten years and since then it's just gotten better and faster, thus made it easier for people to get out there.

We were talking about how easy the Web has made it for people to get out there with their talents (or the lack of) and get known. Thanks to the Web we've enjoyed countless (great and not so great) film parodies, better light saber duels than what Lucas brought us, Charlotte Church music videos, Cameo's "Word Up", and not to mention Snakes On A Plane (which would have not been possible without the Web).

Yes of course there are hackers, spamers and porn banners, but nothing's perfect!

Steve Jobs is fully supportive of the idea of being connected to the web at all times (iPhone), and honestly, I have to agree with him 100% there. Every now and then the thought of losing the ability to get online is frightening, even though I've heard some people say how they can live without the internet and don't need it, I know damn well they panic when they can't get online, hehe, I know I do! But then it's like driving, if all of a sudden Klaatu decided to launch an EMP on the entire planet and we had no way to drive anywhere, how would we get along with our lives? Everyone bitches about hating to be dependent on the internet, but there are A LOT of things out there people are dependent on without even realizing it.

I really don't think we need to rethink "ethics, love, family" etc, the Internet is bringing people together more than anything else. Heck, I met my wife online, and some really kickass friends who are like family to me, and everyone I know down here is because of the Internet. Thus, the theory that the Internet is this "evil" plan to take over humanity is just ludicrous to me, I consider the damn flue that goes around every year infecting people far more dangerous than the net, hehe.

Bottom line, we need the Internet, as a wanna be film maker, I can't imagine having net access, download free sound files and make my crappy B films. Not to mention, how else do we get together on Saturdays for pirated and illegal downloads of Dr. Who episodes (and other Brit TV shows) and enjoy low res YouTube videos on MLR's 44" TRUE HD kickass telly in order to laugh our asses off and forget the troubles of the rest of the week?
Oct. 24th, 2007 02:34 pm (UTC)
There will always be Ludites, but I think the Web already has and will continue to change the way we interact and think about things like ethics. I don't want the genie back in the bottle nor do I think it's evil. There's more than black and white here, though. People are using the Internet to harrass and steal from and manipulate other people. Yes, people have always done so, but the Internet is a tool which is faster and bigger than anything we've ever dreamed up before, and it's longer lasting. Books could be burned, nasty notes from classmates eaten, naughty pics of you taken by your ex-boyriend could be cut up. Now, when someone puts it out there, it's out there all over the place and for good. So, I love the Machine for all it does for us: communications, marketing, entertainment, etc., but I disagree that it doesn't change how we do what we've always done or force us to think about what we're doing in a more urgent way.
Oct. 25th, 2007 08:23 am (UTC)
That can be said for anything, I'm gonna throw a big controversial word into this already controversial debate; RELIGION. At its root and in its most simple form it's the greatest thing to live by, but taken out of context and in human hands it has has brought more evil and suffering than anything else I can think of at the moment. I'm not saying that "religion" is evil, people who abuse it are, and same goes for the Internet.

Yes, it's true that data is harder to track and destroy than physical materials, however not impossible. There are massive data losses due to crashes and hacks happening at everywhere, and some of that data will never be recovered, it's all in how hard someone tries to destroy it/preserve it. The 1922 F.W. Murnau film "Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie Des Grauens" fell victim to Bram Stocker's wife and she wanted all the copies destroyed because she hated that fact that the film which was "based" off of her husband's story made money and his book didn't. During the time the film reels were being destroyed ONE copy was buried somewhere in the ground, to be dug up later so the master piece could survive. and it did.

Everything has a flip side to it, the fast info travel can be used for good and for bad, but once again, that goes for anything. A fire that can cook your food, can also burn down your house, that's why it's up to us to decide how much to use a certain thing and not over do it.
Oct. 25th, 2007 03:12 am (UTC)
Thoughts from a toasted brain....

Fascinating thoughts. I don’t pretend to know a lot, think a lot, or even care a lot about technology, but let me put my 2 cents in.

I think all this newer faster technology is not only changing communication but also necessitates that we re-think a lot of things like ethics, life, love, families… etc. Yes, printable type changed the world, it took awhile, but knowledge became much easier to spread, and that knowledge changed lives. Now that we have instant communication, we have instant decisions to make and the entire world is changing at light-speed. Less time to think (we are human after all) sometimes leads to wrong decisions, and those can change things too. My point is… Lives are changing at light speed. Love? Finding love online is now possible. Long-distance relationships are now a lot easier. Faster communications have changed jobs, taking people farther away from their families. Long-distance family relationships have become more commonplace. Ethics? Now that we’re able to instantly communicate, it makes our lives easier. But we’re also communicating when we don’t mean be. Gone are the days when we could wear our social security numbers on our sleeves. Crime is a lot easier. (Seems to be anyway…) Criminals spend massive amounts of time trying to out-think the machine. Others are trying to out-think the criminals and out-think the machine at the same time.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I don’t think the machine itself is evil. I think what humans will *do* with the machine and the power it gives us could possibly be our downfall. Yes, we need to re-think everything.
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