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 

 

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

 

High Frequency Algos

It’s not just that humans are less and less involved in trading; it’s that they can’t be involved.

By the time the ordinary investor sees a quote, it’s like looking at a star that burned out 50,000 years ago.

   ~ Wired Magazine, Raging Bulls by Jerry Adler 

 

Transcendence

I was thinking about how much computation is represented by the ocean. I mean, it’s all these water molecules interacting with each other; that’s computation. It’s quite beautiful; I always found it very soothing and that’s really what computation is all about. To capture these transcendent moments of our consciousness.

~ Ray Kurzweil, Transcendent Man

Computer Programming

In the long run, each media revolution offers people an entirely new perspective through which to relate to their world.  Language led to shared learning, cumulative experience, and the possibility for progress.  The alphabet led to accountability, abstract thinking, monotheism, and contractual law.  The printing press and private reading led to a new experience of individuality, a personal relationship to God, the Protestant Reformation, human rights, and the Enlightenment.  With the advent of a new medium, the status quo not only comes under scrutiny; it is revised and rewritten by those who have gained new access to the tools of its creation.

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

SomaFM

SomaFM commercial free internet radio

“Ever since I was a simple Perl script, I wanted to be a DJ on SomaFM” – BigURL on SomaFM

The Moment We Have Been Waiting For

…the more humans become involved in their [program’s] design, the more humanely inspired these tools will end up behaving.  We are developing technologies and networks that have the potential to reshape our economy, our ecology, and our society more profoundly and intentionally than ever before in our collective history.  As biologists now understand, our evolution as a species was not a product of random chance, but the forward momentum of matter and life seeking greater organization and awareness.  This is not a moment to relinquish our participation in that development, but to step up and bring our own sense of purpose to the table.  It is the moment we have been waiting for.

  ~ Program or Be Programmed by Douglas Rushkoff

Recent vs. Relevant

And the more we live this way, the more we value the digital’s definition of the now. Our search engines preface their more relevant results with a section of “live” links to whatever blog comment, social networking message, or tweet has most recently been posted containing the words in our queries. The only weighting that matters is how few seconds have transpired since it was blurted. This in turn encourages us to value the recent over the relevant.

  ~ Program or Be Programmed by David Rushkoff

The Global Machine

Each biological neuron sprouts synaptic links to thousands of other neurons, while each Web page on average links to 60 other pages. That adds up to a trillion ‘synapses’ between the static pages on the Web. The human brain has about 100 times that number of links — but brains are not doubling in size every few years. The global machine is.

    ~ CNN, How many pages are on the internet?, John D. Sutter

 

Hack the Planet

We have just gotten a wake-up call from the Nintendo Generation.

    ~ Hackers