the late-night ranting of a young technophile.
i wrote this a few years ago, and i think it has something to do with teenage an gst, reading too much wired magazine, and wanting to be more autonomous.

i was watching a movie last week. the people of the future were fighting a war with enhanced humans, cyborgs. when was the last time i heard that term? i figure the movie must have been written in the eighties, early eighties. all in all, it was pretty good. there was a fear of advance, however, people terrified of the possibility that technology might take over some part of their lives, or even worse, part of their bodies. i don't see what was wrong with that. shocked? that is how i see the future. maybe there won't be members of the terminator cast walking through downtown princeton anytime soon, but eventually, its gotta happen. and i'll tell ya why. it's all about interface. right now, the world, excuse me, the global community is screaming out for more technology, more information, more computers in our lives. we have a hunger for inovation, and we eat what is put on our plates without even really looking. that crunchy thing you just bit into? well, that was the next step in the modern world, and i bet it tasted good. but we are still eating with clumsy utensils. off of the dinner reference, the interface that we strap ourselves to, that instrument that as we speak i am wrestling with, yes, the keyboard, is inefficient. worse, it's a pain, and it's not natural. where does all of this fit in? well, take a look at how we function as human beings. we speak to each other. if we are familliar with our conversation partner, then we might make connotations, slip in inside jokes, or even finish each other's sentences. this is because we have so much to work with to transfer the information. body movements, facial expressions, sideways glances. when was the last time you were able to hold a conversation with a friend without saying a single thing? those moments may be rare, but they portray communication at its best. so why can't talking to our computer be as easy. simple: it ain't human. so do we make computers more human? that is what nicholas negroponte and the mit media lab want to do. give computers more sensors, specialized programing, and gobs of input devices to create an artificial intelligence that can understand the not-so-linear means by which humans communicate at. this is a very intriguing and valid idea. one could sit at home, have a conversation with his computer, do some research, assisted by the reasoning of a machine so close to being human that it would ask you if you were feeling alright or if you wanted it to order some flowers for your girlfriend. this, however, is not what we need. the ultimate in human effieciency, no matter how many will tell you the teamwork is the way to go, is by yourself. having a fully interactive, inteligent, friendly computer would be like having a tag-a-long little brother, which may have its advantages, but there is a better way. why not combine human and computer into one. this kind of relationship would create a being that had no breakdown in the communication phase, whose wishes were fully understood and carried out without the muttling that accompanies translation from thought to action. humans work on ideas, very often without the worlds to communicate, to describe what we mean to say. not only this, but when we have to center our lives around a desktop computer, w e are anchored, non-mobile, and disconnected when we are away from that desk. this means we are only thinking in tandum with our computers for a few hours a day, other wise, we are going it solo, with only the information capacity of our inreliable human brains. this is why i would not mind the evolution of cyborgs. enhanced humans that have the ability to think and to remember with more reliability and at greater speeds. to have instant access to information, is that not what we crave? what if that information was always with us we would never be without that meeting schedule or movie review, email address or latest international news. the millions that carry pocket organizers, palmtop computers, they realize the importance of access to our information. so why not build it in? your son was just born, don't forget to change his batteries in a year. that may be a little extreme, but the joining of human and computer, of biology and technology, is the way to fulfill the dreams and fantasies of the youngest of hackers or the everyday businessman or the most experienced of the digerati and back again. enhanced, we would truly be the best of possible beings. the spark that makes humans more advanced than any computer could ever be combined with the capacity, speed, and electricity of technology that promises to provide information like no body's business. create another race? no, just make ours better. no longer would we be desk jockeys, tied to a machine that must be turned on, dealt with, hit a couple o' times, and them turned off. instead, if the records skips, you could just hit yourself in the head, and get back to figuring out how to break into bill gates' house.

it's about control, too. we want to have control over the tool of our creation, and when the computer seems to have you by the short and currlies, that is the time when you wish it just understood what you meant. what a better way to solve that then by having it read straight from your thoughts?

connectivity between humans themselves everyone is hard-wired. do you hear the phone ringing... in you head?

a computer that knows which news stories you want to hear, sure, but why not one that knows not because it has been conditioned to, but because it is a part of the brain which decides what it prefers?

low-friction interaction

this will mean a change in society, not like the information superhighway, which will simply make our lives a little easier. this will mean a serious reorganization. but that is gonna happen with or without cyborgs, anyway. an apocalyptic uprising...

what will this new life be like? starting your car by looking at it the right way... knowing who you are talking to simply by shaking his hand and transfering data... seeing a cd an knowing what the name every song on the album is without having listened to it... not getting suprised when your anniversary comes... talking to your friend while mentally typing a paper by simply thinking the words. some of these are a little off, but...

and one could say we are faster than computer- when was the last time you had to wait for your computer to open something up or when ideas passed you by because you could not type them out fast enough? the human processor with the resources of the computer memory would be a perfect combination.

another subject: why we need to be engulfed in sensual information- images, sound, environmental control. it hightens the experience? not sure