Collective Thinking

In terms of the Internet, it’s like humanity acquiring a collective nervous system. Whereas previously we were more like a… collection of cells that communicated by diffusion. With the advent of the Internet, it was suddenly like we got a nervous system. It’s a hugely impactful thing.

   ~ Elon Musk 


Instinct vs Reason

Our civilization is still in a middle stage, scarcely beast in that it is no longer wholly guided by instinct; scarcely human, in that it is not yet wholly guided by reason.

 ~ Theodore Dreiser

The Essence of the Hacker Ethic

The technology has to be considered as larger than just the inanimate pieces of hardware.  The technology represents inanimate ways of thinking, objectified ways of thinking.

The myth we see in War Games and things like that is definitely the triumph of the individual over the collective dis-spirit.  The myth is attempting to say that the conventional wisdom and common understandings must always be open to question.  It’s not just an academic point.  It’s the very fundamental point of, you might say, the survival of humanity, in a sense that you can have people merely survive, but humanity is something that’s a little more precious, a little more fragile.  So that to be able to defy a culture which states that “Thou shalt not touch this,” and to defy that with one’s own creative powers is…the essence.

   ~ Hackers, Steven Levy


It’s over, and then it begins again…

Big business may stumble upon and commodify hackers’ breakthroughs, but the hackers will simply move on to new frontiers.

   ~ Steven Levy, Hackers



…but as the TMRC [MIT’s “Tech Model Railroad Club”] people used the word, there was serious respect implied.  While someone might call a clever connection between relays a “mere hack”, it would be understood that, to qualify as a hack, the feat must be imbued with innovation, style, and technical virtuosity.  Even though one might self-deprecatingly say he was “hacking away at The System” (much as an axe-wielder hacks at logs), the artistry with which one hacked was recognized to be considerable.

   ~ Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, Steven Levy

See Beyond

As early as the 1920s, artists called the Dadaists began cutting up text and putting it together in new ways.  In the 1960s, writers and artists such as William Burroughs and Brion Gysin were experimenting with the technique, physically cutting up a newspaper or other text object into many pieces and then recombining them into new forms.  They saw it as a way to break through the hypnosis of traditional media and see beyond its false imagery to the real messages and commands its controllers were trying to transmit to us without our knowledge.  Digital technology has turned this technique from a fringe art form to a dominant aesthetic.

   ~ Douglas Rushkoff, Program or Be Programmed – Ten Commands for a Digital Age


BOXENSTOPP by margali59/back soon
BOXENSTOPP, a photo by margali59/back soon on Flickr.

Here’s to the crazy ones…

~ Apple’s “Think Different” Campaign Commercial

Think Different

Jobs and [Lee] Clow agreed that Apple was one of the great brands of the world, probably in the top five based on emotional appeal, but they needed to remind folks what was distinctive about it. So they wanted a brand image campaign, not a set of advertisements featuring products. It was designed to celebrate not what the computers could do, but what creative people could do with the computers. “This wasn’t about processor speed or memory,” Jobs recalled. “It was about creativity.” It was directed not only at potential customers, but also at Apple’s own employees. “We at Apple had forgotten who we were. One way to remember who you are is to remember who your heroes are. That was the genesis of that [Think Different] campaign.”

~ Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson


bali by peo pea
bali, a photo by peo pea on Flickr.