Darwin and the Internet

From The Internet: Triumph of human evolution by Thomas Rogers, Salon:

“As I walk down the halls here, I see so many students typing away at their computers and everybody’s walking around with their little auxiliary brain. One brain is no longer sufficient and that is certainly the next step in terms of being able to master the forces that have impinged on us and be able to protect and expand humanity. Computers and the Internet now are in a sense creating a global brain where you can access information almost instantaneously and anyone has access to it.…

“The Internet provides us [evolutionary] mastery. It shows us how to build things, overcome disease, and allows us to maintain and buffer our way of life despite perturbations from the environment. We are a species now that can not only live on land but go onto the sea and go into space. We’re able to heat and cool our buildings at will in big cities where the lights never go out.

“On the other hand, we’re losing the ability to have long-lasting human relationships and I don’t think everything is better necessarily through the union of technology and human behavior. We still need to confront each other face to face and talk about things to establish trust and work together. I don’t see technology as the solution to all of our problems.”

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3 responses to “Darwin and the Internet

  1. Alan Pearson

    The title of a book by a too-often overlooked Canadian is apropos, “Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man.” Technology enables us to magnify our flaws at least as effectively as, if not more so than, our virtues. AAsAlso Also, given the widespread effects of testosterone poisoning, McLuhan’s anachronistic title probably remains accurate. As a result, extensions of man, while perhaps enabling many wonders, will remain a constant threat to civilization; so their ramifying effect on culture needs to be constantly monitored. And, by the same token, individual human beings must be prepared to act in concert, when warranted, to defend civilization and obstruct barbarity.

  2. Alan Pearson

    My technology exacted pre-emptive revenge. What I meant to send is as follows:

    The title of a book by a too-often overlooked Canadian is apropos, “Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man.” Technology enables us to magnify our flaws at least as effectively as, if not more so than, our virtues. Also, given the widespread effects of testosterone poisoning, McLuhan’s anachronistic title probably remains accurate. As a result, extensions of man, while perhaps enabling many wonders, will remain a constant threat to civilization; so their ramifying effect on culture needs to be constantly monitored. And, by the same token, individual human beings must be prepared to act in concert, when warranted, to defend civilization and obstruct barbarity.

  3. Can Alan Pearson please elaborate on the manifestations of “testosterone poisoning”, explain the distinction from “y chromisone disease”, and recommend any antidotes?
    Mike Sky
    South Porcupine