Revision [121]

This is an old revision of reading made by AliOli on 2011-04-17 01:37:12.


My original plan for this page was to take a snapshot of my bookcase, make an image-map for the picture, and to give you some nice pop-outs with my comments on the book. It all seemed so simple two months ago....

I didn't even try to make the page in this manner. Instead, I've joined the project and will help to design and build a new service to help Dutch students borrow/buy/lend/sell their required literature. Not quite as simple, but loads more fun! (in other words: I have a legitimate excuse to leave this page as it is for the time being ;-) )

Kevin Kelly's "What Technology Wants"

Every time you believe that technology has dreams of its own, you are transferring a slice of agency to those involved in shaping it. I do not think that technology should be seen as "the seventh kingdom" of life. My apologies to Kevin Kelly, but "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Instead, I assume that technology can best be seen as a complex adaptive system, examples of which are indeed found all across the scale of life. Think of cells, organs, organisms, communities, "superorganisms", ecosystems, biomes, including just about everything that is considered sacred across the globe. In my work with computers (especially the networked ones), I've experienced that technology fits the bill quite nicely. I'm willing to accept that this observation extends to all kinds of technology when seen at a larger time-scale. This however, does not mean it should be held equal to another kingdom of organisms. My common sense says that it's a phenomenon which is created by several organisms, but humans seem to be highly adept at making a diverse bunch of the stuff.

Now why should we be making people aware of the fact that, upon examination, technology seems to have its own flavor of agency? It doesn't seem to be a very novel thing to do. For millennia, people have been telling marvelous stories about the sense of agency that is radiating from the universe around us. Perhaps Kevin Kelly's new work, which I enjoyed reading very much, is actually the latest addition in the long line of sacred stories; and I'm just one of those people who is "just not getting it" yet.

I felt the need to raise this issue because I think that we need quite a few wonderfully novel ideas to get rid of some of the mess that we have made recently. Just sacred stories, expressing grand experiences, aren't going to cut it. We need some really practical ones too! So, let's talk about resilience, stable regimes, thresholds and the likes during the week, and let us keep stories about kingdoms for our pastime. ( I really feel like I should be saying "thank you for your attention" right now. Open for questions and comments. )

David Siegel's blogs

David Siegel is one of those people whom you've probably never heard of, but whose impact on the world you have already (indirectly) felt. Mainly because he has an early feel for things. He is the world's fifth blogger, wrote a book on global environmental change in 1990, wrote a very insightful article about the housing market bubble in 2005, has a crystal clear view on the Semantic Web, and thinks that he would do the best job as Apple's next CEO. Watch the video to get a sneak peek of his latest ideas and the passion with which he delivers them.

There are 1751 comments on this page. [Display comments]

Validate XHTML :: CSS :: Powered by Wikka