Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This talk by Kevin Kelly is quite good. Thought-provoking.

Reminds me ...

2 comments:

guibar said...

Just watched the talk. I found it a bit shallow because it doesn't really touch on the issues of control which seem the most interesting in what he is talking about. Can we really assume that this One Machine is working towards the public good as seems to be implicit in most of this talk? Who define this public good? Is this One Machine really that resilient to becoming an instrument of control? Just marvelling at the big numbers and seeing some parallels to the human brain seems to miss the point. The fact that google is able to take such a central position in all this for example starts worrying me. The web is critically dependent on just a few search engines. Is that not worrying you?
The aspect which the talk eludes completely is the consequence of all this to our relationship to each other.

phil jones said...

Well, it's not in the talk but I believe Kelly is influenced by Teilhard de Chardin so I guess his optimism is based on some kind of (tacit) teleological assumption.

Google's omniscience is scary. But I'm not sure I think the web is dependent on them. It would be bloody inconvenient if Google turned evil or evaporated, but I think something would soon appear to replace them.

The overall trend on the web seems to be towards multiplication of species and complexity rather than reduction. For example, it may look like Google took over search but if you go and look for, say, Lycos or Alta Vista they're still there and usable search engines.

What interested me more about the talk was the highlighting how much we take for granted after such a relatively short amount of time and his predictions for the near future.