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The Total Library
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"We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." —Carl Sagan
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    Thoughts on the Internet as a State of Dreaming
    Project: The Total Library

    Tonight, I see the Internet as a sort of controlled state of dreaming: directed, curated... semi-lucid, like a dream.

    Vague interests, inklings, compel us to a certain place of knowledge, a node of interest amid seas of information. This place, though unique, is not independent or separate from the rest of the network of which it is one; instead, it exists only within the context of the network as a whole, in relation to the complementary, surrounding, and otherwise-relevant nodes with which it is connected.

    So in this way, to use the Internet is to enter into a group network, one which compliments and interacts with your own individual node. Your ideas, preferences and interests determine the course of your interaction within the network, yet there is always some degree of separation distancing you, a whole person, from the content and concepts with which you are interacting.

    Is not the use of the Internet, then, akin to a state of dreaming?

    In both realms, we play a role which is both active and passive; we exist in a state which is both reactive and proactive.

    We read, and we write.

    To what extent can we suspend our individuality in favour of a more networked experience?

    Should we, in fact, do so?

    Do we want to do so?

    These are brave questions, which I expect will be met with brave answers in the years and decades ahead.

    Humanity’s future, though uncertain, is ever-changing.

    We know this much is true.

    Sat, Apr 2, 2011  Permanent link
    Categories: freewriting, thoughts, Internet
    Sent to project: The Total Library
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    Phyllotaxis     Sat, Apr 2, 2011  Permanent link

    To what extent can we suspend our individuality in favour of a more networked experience?

    I wonder if an extension of this question can be viewed as: what constitutes individuality?

    I believe that our contribution to the world equals our actions within it. The things we do are the things that we are. State of Being. Verb. Active. Entropy is change.

    As so, our objective "individuality" could be viewed as our work manifested in the breathing world interacting with others.

    As the billions of lifetimes worth of experience, trial, and error becomes available to us, (digitally, in simple rows of 1's and 0's, yes and no's.) the quiet thoughts of our many reflections ('internet') will naturally answer our own questions and lead us to pursue new ones. An exposition of thoughts to be integrated or discarded and replaced. This process is definable as directed entropy. We have the information to dramatically improve much of our world now. Only a few of us are using it. Choosing to apply it.
    Maybe this is an inevitable course for us all. Maybe only for a few.

    How does that affect the individuality of each of us then?

    The harmony of a networked "Universal Question/Answer System" could allow more effective application of tools to express our unique set of experiences and conclusions on the universe, and to work in tangible ways to make this world, and our vessel'd embodiment of/within it, a greater and more harmonious place.
    Like this place. We are combining our small gears and levers of logic together and planning on ways to bring our existence into full focus. Our thoughts are our tools for this. The are active.

    This leads me to conclude that, through a shared knowledge base, each one of us will be more important because we will naturally gravitate to what we're best at. Developing this perspective breeds passion in all things. Passion naturally brings attention, and with attention enough, all problems are surmountable.

    Then we advance.
    There are good times ahead-

    Apollo     Sun, Apr 3, 2011  Permanent link
    I wholeheartedly agree with this optimistic and well-reasoned take on the future of everything :)

    What really excites me is the prospect of channeling the energy and discourse generated on virtual communities such as SC into the social fabric of our nations, institutions, and communities. The integration of this "Universal Q/A System" into our existing (and archaic) social institutions would be nothing less than a a paradigm-shifting (r)evolution in/of our world. Indeed, it is a transformation which is currently underway.

    What are your thoughts on how best to bridge the gap between 'digital' and 'physical' communities?