“Data doesn’t spring full formed from nowhere. Data is created, generated, and recorded. And the unifying principle behind all of this data is that it was all created by humans. We create the data, so essentially our data is an extension of ourselves, an extension of our humanity.”
“If I enjoy these internet memes so much, why am I so dismissive of anthropological fads? There are probably three reasons: First, there is the erasure of disciplinary memory. Newer is not necessarily better, and it is good to show a little respect for where we came from. The second is that it is simply hard to keep up. One doesn’t just casually pick up Lacan – there is a whole new vocabulary to master. For this reason it can often feel like empire building (reason #3). By establishing a new anthropological trend one is trying to build up one’s own cultural capital while simultaneously devaluing other forms.”
Futurist John Smart, president and founder of the Acceleration Studies Foundation, recalled an insight of economist Simon Kuznets about evolution of technology effects known as the Kuznets curve: “First-generation tech usually causes ‘net negative’ social effects; second-generation ‘net neutral’ effects; by the third generation of tech—once the tech is smart enough, and we’ve got the interface right, and it begins to reinforce the best behaviors—we finally get to ‘net positive’ effects,” he noted. “We’ll be early into conversational interface and agent technologies by 2020, so kids will begin to be seriously intelligently augmented by the internet. There will be many persistent drawbacks however [so the effect at this point will be net neutral]. The biggest problem from a personal-development perspective will be motivating people to work to be more self-actualized, productive, and civic than their parents were. They’ll be more willing than ever to relax and remain distracted by entertainments amid accelerating technical productivity.
“As machine intelligence advances,” Smart explained, “the first response of humans is to offload their intelligence and motivation to the machines. That’s a dehumanizing, first-generation response. Only the later, third-generation educational systems will correct for this.””
“I opened the folder on mascaras with a level of excitement I have never personally experienced from applying mascara.”