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what has the internet done for us?

keithprosser
Posts: 2,084
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9/26/2016 2:12:33 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
Reading up on Chardin and the noosphere, some people suggest the internet implents a sort of humanity wide collective consciousness.
It's a techophile fantasy, but does it bear examination?
Take ddo. There are, I'd guess a dozen or so regulars and most of the time they are talking past each other or trading insults. And there are probably thousands of similar boards, all forming their own micro-cosms, barely aware of each other and certainly not inyetacting.
Rather than producing a humanity wide 'hive mind' the internet has fragmented into a million independent parts, and people into a million inward looking coteries. Perhaps the end point is not a collective mind but each of us conversing with our own personalised chatbot, guaranteed to find our posts fascinating and witty, and to make challenging(but not too challenging) replies while feeding us recommendations based on our previous purchases...
Chaosism
Posts: 2,674
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9/26/2016 3:04:23 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/26/2016 2:12:33 PM, keithprosser wrote:
Reading up on Chardin and the noosphere, some people suggest the internet implents a sort of humanity wide collective consciousness.
It's a techophile fantasy, but does it bear examination?
Take ddo. There are, I'd guess a dozen or so regulars and most of the time they are talking past each other or trading insults. And there are probably thousands of similar boards, all forming their own micro-cosms, barely aware of each other and certainly not inyetacting.
Rather than producing a humanity wide 'hive mind' the internet has fragmented into a million independent parts, and people into a million inward looking coteries. Perhaps the end point is not a collective mind but each of us conversing with our own personalised chatbot, guaranteed to find our posts fascinating and witty, and to make challenging(but not too challenging) replies while feeding us recommendations based on our previous purchases...

I think the internet creates an environment that makes it safer to act upon In-Group/Out-Group biases, especially when anonymity is an option. It provides a means of easily dismissing contrary information while making it easier to connect with affirming information. Current trends with censorship on sites such as Twitter and YouTube and leveraging this to establish their own ideals as truth.

Ultimately, though, I think the informational availability provided by the internet comes with a severe drawback that's analogous to personal GPS technology. When people rely on the ease of GPS navigation, they forget or never learn how to navigate, themselves, so if the GPS is compromised, then they're screwed. In terms of the internet, people can find whatever opinion/argument they want but forget how to think for themselves. Obviously, this isn't meant as a binary truth, but I think it generally rings true.
wuliheron
Posts: 105
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9/26/2016 3:15:44 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
Among other things, the internet allows the money to do more of the driving which is good, because people tend to terrible drivers. It was originally developed by the military and, notably, the Chinese in particular are going to heroic efforts attempting to censor the entire worldwide web. Soon enough the robots and computers will take over the entire job for humanity and will likely do a much better job simply because its difficult to do much worse.

Within twenty years commercial fishing is estimated to become history simply because there will no longer be enough wild fish left in the oceans and, within fifty years, every wild land animal larger than a dog will either be extinct or only exist in zoos. By the end of the century some 80% of the surface of earth will become desert.
janesix
Posts: 3,491
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9/26/2016 6:10:34 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/26/2016 3:15:44 PM, wuliheron wrote:
Among other things, the internet allows the money to do more of the driving which is good, because people tend to terrible drivers. It was originally developed by the military and, notably, the Chinese in particular are going to heroic efforts attempting to censor the entire worldwide web. Soon enough the robots and computers will take over the entire job for humanity and will likely do a much better job simply because its difficult to do much worse.

Within twenty years commercial fishing is estimated to become history simply because there will no longer be enough wild fish left in the oceans and, within fifty years, every wild land animal larger than a dog will either be extinct or only exist in zoos. By the end of the century some 80% of the surface of earth will become desert.
Yet nobody cares. Maybe they will care when there are no more treees left to give them oxegen.
wuliheron
Posts: 105
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9/26/2016 6:43:32 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/26/2016 6:10:34 PM, janesix wrote:
Yet nobody cares. Maybe they will care when there are no more treees left to give them oxegen.

You can already buy oxygen out of a vending machine in parts of Asia. Its easy to make and people would rather buy the air they breathe than pay more for cheap plastic crap at Walmart.