The Trinity of Authoritarianism: surveillance, censorship and propaganda.
They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type.
— a career U.S. intelligence officer on the U.S. government, in a Washington Post exclusive
(June 6, 2013) on how the NSA and FBI is tapping into the central servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple.
People who think the Web is killing off serendipity are not using it correctly.
All collected data had come to a final end. Nothing was left to be collected. But all collected data had yet to be completely correlated and put together in all possible relationships. A timeless interval was spent doing that.
— Isaac Asimov
, American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books, (1920-1992), “The Last Question”
, Columbia Publications, 1956, cited in John Battelle
's The Search
I think the Net generation is beginning to see knowledge in a way that is closer to the truth about knowledge. (…) Knowing looks less like capturing truths in books than engaging in never-settled networks of discussion and argument. (…) This new topology of knowledge reflects the topology of the Net. The Net (and especially the Web) is constructed quite literally out of links, each of which expresses some human interest. (…) And that’s the sense in which I think networked knowledge is more “natural.” (…)
To make a smart room — a knowledge network — you have to have just enough diversity. (…) There is no longer an imperative to squeeze the world into small, self-contained boxes. Hyperlinks remove the limitations that objectivity was invented to address.
Memories are becoming hyperlinks to information triggered by keywords and URLs. We are becoming ‘persistent paleontologists’ of our own external memories, as our brains are storing the keywords to get back to those memories and not the full memories themselves.
The internet makes dumb people dumber and smart people smarter. (…) Just as globalization and de-unionization have been major drivers of the growth of income inequality over the past few decades, the internet is now a major driver of the growth of cognitive inequality.
Nicholas Carr on Information and Contemplative Thought
“The internet is a culmination of a much longer-term social trend that goes back to the beginning of mass media. People place less and less value on contemplative thinking and more on practical, utilitarian types of thinking, which are all about getting the right bit of information when you need it and about using it to answer very well-defined question. We are in a long-term process of altering our view of what constitutes the ideal intellectual life: Moving away from the ideal of conceptual thinking, reflection and taking the big picture and moving to this very utilitarian mode of constantly collecting little bits of information, not really ever wanting to back away from the flow. Society and individuals can change, but to me the trend is in the direction of interruption, distraction and shallow thinking. (…) I think we will see an acceleration of existing trends, rather than a shift in a new direction.” “
Look what is coming: Technology is stitching together all the minds of the living, wrapping the planet in a vibrating cloak of electronic nerves, entire continents of machines conversing with one another, the whole aggregation watching itself through a million cameras posted daily. How can this not stir that organ in us that is sensitive to something larger than ourselves?