Monday, February 15, 2010

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Being the first post on this blog, it should in my opinion set the proper theme for all future content. It's essential for a collection of highly opinionated written works to have a common ubiquitous background tune, an omnipresent mental twitch that a reader can come back for if they've enjoyed the experience. One of the main points for this very collection is our everyday ever-deepening integration with products and byproducts of our own intelligence. We constantly try to augment our existence by engaging with technology, and we rarely notice, that as we transform technology, there is a constant feedback of that same technology transforming us in much more profound and largely obscure ways than we can imagine.

I would like to open this series of articles, essays and scattered thoughts by a penetrating quotation by one of the few unchallenged masters of techno-social perception and realization William Gibson:
"I'm always a little amazed when I run into people who feel that technology is somehow outside the individual that one can either accept or reject. That's true in a sense, but at this stage of the game, we ARE technology. We've become something I think in some very real sense, part of the world's population is already 'post-human'. If you consider the heath options available to some millionaire in Beverly Hills as opposed to a man starving in the streets of Bangladesh, the man in Beverly Hills can in effect buy himself a new set of organs. When you look at that sort of gap, I mean, the man in Bangladesh is still human he's a human being from an agricultural planet. The man in Beverly Hills is something else. He may still be human, but in some ways I think he's also a post-human. The future has already happened."
There is perhaps no better illustration of what underlying idea motivated and inspired me to assemble my thoughts in this one place than the above passage. Technology has become the new occult. Just as the Ojibwe used to build dream catchers centuries ago to shield themselves from bad dreams, we now superstitiously send email chain letters to all our contacts to meet that special person the next day, consume kilograms of usually chemically neutral dietary supplements and 'magical pills' per year, and install every piece of software that promises to clean up our ad-ware infected PCs.

The generation of technologically influenced teenagers that is just growing up rarely has sufficiently able and informed parents and teachers to educate them about strengths and weaknesses of the information technology and how to use it to one's advantage, to augment their thinking, to satisfy their natural curiosity. As technology grows on us, we tumble down uncontrollably into the new and the unknown under the weight of exabytes of information. After all, most of great technology today is extensively misused. It is the user nowadays who does not live up to the expectations of technology and not otherwise. We've achieved that moment in which our augmented reality is too vast for an average Internet surfer to take in and break down.

It is therefore technological and informational literacy that one should achieve to really thrive. I hope that you will come back to read some of the posts following this one. If you do, I want you to keep in the back of your mind that as you are reading them, at different corners of our Earth there are breakthroughs made in subatomic physics, intelligent computing, computer-brain interfacing, plastic surgery, nano-electronics, biological warfare, material science, genetic engineering, drug delivery, power generation, narcoterrorism, robotics and other countless disciplines that today, tomorrow or one other day will greatly affect your life as they already have countless times without you really noticing.

With this said, I would like to welcome you to the future that has already started happening, quickly engulfing every piece of our lives that are now so dependent on it. Humans had undergone a rather bizarre stage of evolution. We are now largely a technologically augmented species, and as we vault onto the doorstep of our prodigious yet highly unstable future, we must thereafter take careful steps on this longest ever journey of mutilating ourselves into what we initially assumed God to be.