Comment: An offboard extension of our mind...

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Michael Nystrom's picture

An offboard extension of our mind...

Regarding what he says right at the beginning about the internet:

"Whether the internet is a solid functional archive or not, we have a tendency to treat it that way...we treat it like an offboard extension of our mind..."

The other night my internet went out. That was so frustrating! Not to be able to call up this whole wealth of information.

I got the idea into my head that it was the wireless router, so I reset it, then was unable to reset it properly. My first impulse was to Google the solution but - right, no internet. I realized just how much I take it for granted. Eventually I Googled it on my not-dumb phone and found the instructions. But it was disconcerting.

- - - -

The internet has had a different effect on me, that doesn't have to do so much with memory, but with presence. I almost feel schizophrenic, though I'm not sure I'm using that word right. But I've got all these people now in my head - people I've never met or spoken to, but who I know about. There's you, the panda boy, dwalters wanting to work for liberty, all these naive Rah Rah Randers, and the equally naive anti-Randers, paduraru in Transylvania singing and showing us his pristine environment. Et cetera.

It is enriching. It makes one feel less lonely. Americans are pretty isolated. It is nice in that way, but it is also weird in a way that I can't quite articulate.

There are a few books on this topic, but one that I read a few years back that I enjoyed tremendously is called Hamlet's Blackberry.

Ironically, three years after the book was published, Blackberry is practically out of business. Three years from now people will probably think this is about fruit.