cybermind glut

In this interview with Andy Clark (The author of Natural-Born Cyborgs), he mentions a about future where we’re so melded with technology that having that technology break or disappear would be the equivalent of having a stroke. The interviewer equates the disaster to more of a lobotomy, which he disagrees with.

But I’d like to explore this possibility that, rather than being lobotomized, such a person (who has lost their technology) would actually just be reduced to the kind of person that we all are today. At that time, such a backward evolution would seem at least as bad, if not worse than, having had a lobotomy. Sure, they would seem normal to you and me, but to the hyper-brained individuals of the future, they would be near useless. I mean, I often think that the work I do will be so trivial in the future that it won’t be handled by humans at all, but rather by software of some sort.

When I say I’d like to explore this possibility, I mean, I’d like to write a novel on the premise. Just today, I feel particularly useless and depressed. My life is meaningless monotony hung precariously on these wires for you to scrape into your eyeballs like thick sludge at the bottom of some electronic barrel. Maybe one of the barrels that Donkey Kong throws at you.

Another of the recurring concepts in the book is that of the mind as it extends into our bodies, and even outside of our bodies. For instance, I’m not only writing this entry in my brain. I’m also using this computer, and my email software too (which does a nice job of spell checking for me). The extra effort I put forth to use these tools is far more than offset by the added value. In fact, without the tools, I couldn’t even begin to comprehend what kind of communication I’m about to put forth. The concepts are just foreign without knowledge of computers and the internet.

And with that, I think I’ll flit into the back-paths of my cerebral hemisphere, and daydream for another half-hour before I kick this meatspace like a bad physical addiction.

One Reply to “cybermind glut”

  1. We may not be so melded now that having the batteries die in our PDA or cell phone makes us the equivalent of the lobotomized, but there is already ample evidence that we are critically dependent on our technology. Imagine what would have happened if all the power generation plants had failed on 1/1/2000? Other, more primitive societies get along well enough without electricity, but the US certainly would be a lot “stupider” without electricity to power all over our electronic brains.

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