A Huge Mind and No Body

Chapter two of Lanier’s book took a completely different turn for me. In the first chapter I agreed with almost everything that he said with respect to technology playing a huge role in our lives. However, this chapter presented technology in a completely different light, he suggested that the internet and computer software would one day be able to rise above an conquer us all.

Immediately,I thought that his ideas were extremely bizarre and farfetched, I wouldn’t rule it out completely but I personally do not believe that technology would be so advanced that it would be able to create better representations of themselves and by extension, several generations. It’s good that he is thinking ahead and providing his readers with all the technological negatives that we may encounter in years to come but it does not mean that human nature would have lost control completely and would simply sit back and allow a team of robots to feast on the earth.

Interestingly, I found a review on the book that disagreed with some of Lanier’s main ideas about technology consuming the earth. According to the author of this review (Knopf) (http://www.openlettersmonthly.com/rapture-crash/), he claims that Lanier describes the brain as a very simplistic object but it is not, unlike a computer it is not absolute. Knopf gave an excellent example of the ways in which a program functions, something as easy as trying to open an icon by double clicking which turns on the algorithm that causes the program to start, additionally, to close the program you simply click the right hand corner of the program box to turn on the algorithm which closes the program. However, if the computer encountered any kind of confusion it would crash, but humans aren’t like that because we can adjust.

Basically Knopf’s point illustrates that none of these processes could take place without the physical presence of a human being. Therefore technology needs us, I don’t think it can survive without us, so how can we become obsolete? We are the ones that created the software, in the end it is the human mind that is the mastermind behind all of this. I cant see the internet forming one mind at all, I don’t believe that humans would die and will some how live on in the virtual world. Consciousness needs the soul and when we die , it is taken away from us. How can we exist in a virtual world? Who controls our actions and makes decisions for us? That one superhuman-brain that “supposedly” would one day control us all? – No, I don’t think so.

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~ by fcalliste on May 21, 2010.

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