Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Internet is Creating a Collective Brain

This should maybe be filed in the 'duh' category, but it never ceases to amaze me how internet is quite literally constructing a communal brain. Just by logging on, you tap into a constantly regenerating conglomeration of thought that is, at every turn, urging you to type your thought in. Blogs, facebooks, twitters, myspaces, away messages on gchat...all tools you can use to put your thought into the huge thought space that is the internet. Before I log in, I'm thinking about one thing, by the time I get off, the thoughts of maybe one hundred others have flown in and out of my head.

This brain is becoming increasingly immediate, as per Google's latest: Real Time Search (go adam!>). Now when you google something, you can see what people are saying about that thing at that very moment--including individual twitters! And let's not forget about Google Wave, which will even further facilitate this collective nature of internet. But there are tons of other examples, The Hype Machine for music, Wikipedia of course for information, huge filter blogs like Huffington Post and Real Clear Politics for news.

I'm pretty certain it's going to be a while before we really get a handle on what all of this means for people's individual brains, and I think I'm gonna try to keep an eye on this idea to see what other stuff pops up about it (privacy, pervasiveness, uniformity all come to mind). But to start, one thing I think is interesting is that the center of this brain is a search engine. That the start of every journey onto our collective brain begins with the question, what are you looking for? Or, to put it another way, what do you want to experience?

Is that how you start your morning, in your individual brain? By asking, out of the millions of things that I could possibly experience today, which do I want to, what am I looking for? For me, the answer is no, but I wonder why. If you can buy into this internet-as-brain metaphor, why don't individual brain experiences start the same way?

1 comment:

  1. 一個人的際遇在第一次總是最深刻的,有時候甚至會讓人的心變成永遠的絕緣。.........................

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