Technology

THIS IS a website about the future; and the nature of the relationship(s) between human and machine. We shall consider the status and destiny of humankind, vis-à-vis technology; by means of a new logical, holistic and scientific approach to the design of machines, systems and computers. 

Sought are broad perspectives, and enlightening world-views; and in order that we may better understand, and manage, the technological path that lies ahead. Concurrently, we wish to ascertain the associated (aggregated) influences of machines upon human society. 

It is my belief that long past is the time when we can just let systems, machines and computers develop as they may; and required now is a planned strategy with respect to technologyin the biggest senseand so to manage human affairs from a magna eget (grand perspective). 

Technological Revolution

Considered are past, present and future prospects for technology (all aspects); and observed are the individual, sociological and environmental perspectives of the same. The outlook is of necessity sometimes speculative, but we hope that it is not unrealistic, simplistic or narrow. 

Our thesis concerns topics that overlap multiple disciplines; including computer networks, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), Virtual/Augmented Reality, robotics, cybersecurity, sociology, psychology, ethics, law, humanism, transhumanism, and philosophy etc.

On second thoughts, the list of influences is near endless, since there are no fields of human endeavour to which the technology is unrelated; and upon which technological issues do not (in some way) impinge. Accordingly, there are no solely machine-specific issuesor human-specific onesand because… the problems of technology and humanity are intertwingled (term coined by Dr Ted Nelson).

Our approach is to avoid parochial, limiting and sub-optimal viewpoints, and especially because the stakes are so high. In fact the ramifications of technological decisions are almost incomprehensibly high, and in relation to human happiness, well-being and mastery of the future. Today we face considerable challenges collectively as a species, and on this site we seek to tackle the attendant ‘big questions’. At issue, in the longer term, may be our very existence. 

In the words of President Lincoln (1809-1865), technology may be the last best hope of all mankind. And if there be any truth here, then it stands to reason that we must consider carefully what technology actually is; and in order to better understand its essence, esse, eimi, or ousia (being). 

What is Technology?

A fundamental question arises; what is technology? Finding a satisfactory answer is indeed problematicand is to a large extent the singular goal of the present site.

Dr Ted Nelson (1937) makes the point that what most people consider to be technology, is in actual fact, not. He says that a ‘technology’ such as Microsoft Windows or Facebook is simply a bundle of somewhat arbitrary functionality plus capability; which has been put together as a result of a series of biases, and political processes, on the part of human designers. 

Here on this website, whilst acknowledging, and considering the ramifications of Nelson’s epiphany, we shall nevertheless accede to the wider consensus; and begin by defining technology somewhat conventionally. 

Wikipedia definition: 

Technology (from the Greek τέχνηtechne, ‘art, skill, cunning of hand’; and -λογία, logia) is the making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, and methods of organisation, in order to solve a problem, improve a pre-existing solution to a problem, achieve a goal, handle an applied input/output relation or perform a specific function. 

Thus we (superficially) adopt a broad definition of technology, and include anything normally spoken ofby people everywhereas being a technology. At the same time, we recognise that even when a particular technology is known to have distinct advantages and uses; it may also inherently possess significant disadvantages/drawbacks; and also by no means represent, or embody, the ideal from of that particular type (or broad class) of technological solution. 

And in Ted Nelson’s view, true technology may be the smaller (less political) building blocks that are assembled into the bigger composite products and services; and the same smaller pieces being (perhaps): wifi, chips, keyboard, display, mouse etc. 

The present site is chiefly about the design and application of useful/appropriate technologies; and it might seem strange that we have adopted such a tenuous definition for a key element of our thesis. However we have done so for a specific reason. It turns out that technology is a vast subject, and it is therefore apt to stalk our quarry from a distance; and in order to better envisage the whole.

In any case the specific area of technology that we are largely concerned with is computer system design (and related developments), which is an illusive/amorphous topic and one that is constantly evolving. In a way, and partly because of the diverse forms/applications of computers, they elude any fixed definitionsand flee all characterisations. 

Overall, vital is that we cast our net wide enough to capture, and include, future technology in our exposition. It is therefore useful to loosely define computing technology; and in order to ensure that we can recogniseor foreshadowany evolving paradigms. In any case Friedrich Nietzsche said thatonly that which has no history is definable.

Therefore we do not wish to turn our backs on the past, but desire to learn from the long and rich history of technological development. History is bursting with analogies of how to implement, and how not to implement, technological change.  Overall, we wish to combine the outlook(s) of the historian and futurist with that of the humanist. 

Humans versus Machines

Perhaps we do not even have a choice in placing the very highest priority on the appropriate use of technology. Just like THE FORCE in Star Wars; technology surrounds and penetrates us, it binds us together. And apparent is that design of technology isin actual factdesign of… self, society and human life (all aspects). 

Professor Norbert Wiener (1894-1964) said that we should: not throw the responsibility onto the machine. Hence do not be fooled into thinking that we have lost control of machines in terms of their basic functions and capabilities. 

This is not so, machines are at all times human-made artefacts. The machines cannot yet, in any sense, design themselves. And even if they could, they do not (currently) possess free-will or the will to power. I think Norbert Wiener was referring to the tendency of system designers (and others), to blame the machineunauthenticallyfor those cases where a machine limits human rights, and/or does not perform as it should do, or as the user of the technology would wish it to. From this viewpoint, it is as if the technology designs itself, and/or were somehow alive/self-determining.

We shall explore theories of machine ‘wishes’, decision-making, and self-evolution later. But for now, I simply state that belief in machine self-determination is profoundly wrong, misguided and also anti-humanistic. 

Machinesand computersare designed by humans, and we can make of them whatever we like. They are not fixed in stone and are not our overlords (yet). Rather it is the system designers and owners who are deciding what policies the machines progress/implement. In terms of the social networks, the systems define how we humans interact in a variety of ways. They control the language we use and the things we are able/allowed to say to each other; and it is inevitable as a result that they are changing the nature of what it means to be human. 

Is this a frightening and unbelievably depressing state of affairs? Most definitely. Perhaps we need to go back to the drawing board when it comes to technology; and begin by re-imagining who we wish to be, collectively as a people. 

A major theme of this site is the inseparability of technological issues from matters of general and primary concernincluding both collective and individual factors. In a way technologyishumanity; because it is now so enmeshed with who and what we are, that design of technology is design of society and self.  We are the computer and the computer is us. A merging of man and machine is inevitableat least if the human species is to survive. 

Technopia

I shall make the argument that for humanity to progress, we must find out what are the wishes of the majority, and on an issue-by-issue basis, and then collectively implement the same. Along the way we introduce a set of new guiding principles for a technological society, which we name the technopia. 

A technopia is a society so arranged as to benefit all, and it has special laws, rights and technological mechanisms to ensure the same. Especially important are new human rights techno-rightsthat every citizen of the world will be afforded. These rights mirror (and extend) the fundamental human rights, and are designed to guarantee that each person obtains the same. 

Desired are not merely speculations. We consider carefully the lessons of the past, and in particular how thinkers and visionaries have, throughout time, viewed mankind’s relationship(s) to/with technology. An exploration is made of the different ways in which technology has developed in past times, in the positive and also negative senses; and from the perspective of individual and collective viewpoints/outcomes. 

Thus far we have provided background motivation, and an introduction to, major themes of the present site. However, as much as this is a site about individual thought ownership, free expression and creative potential; it is also about the exploration of ideas, education and the ability of humans to learn from, and contribute to, the combined wealth of all human knowledge. The likes of Dr Vannevar Bush (1890-1974), Dr Ted Nelson, Dr Paul Otlet (1868-1944) and Dr Kim Veltman have explored these topics in detail. In particular providing free/open access to, and easy navigation of, vast libraries of information is a primary concern. 

Any idea purporting to identify a golden solution to all of the world’s problemsor even a tiny portion of themis bound to be labelled as optimistic at best, and more likely as deluded, unrealistic, or simply as a work of pure fiction. And especially precipitous is the path followed by anyone who considers technological solutions as some kind of panacea. The lessons of history are just the opposite; whereby the introduction of any new technology does normally have major unexpectedand often negativeinfluences/consequences. 

Humanistic Perspective and Techno-rights

What can be said with certainty is that effective/useful technology design is more difficult than at first sight it may appear; and it is essential to see innovations from the broadest possible ‘humanistic’ perspective. Perhaps we can follow the key example of the humanities. Established are human rights laws; and likewise it now seems that we need technological rightsor techno-rightsto govern computer systems. Certainly we cannot allow technology to continue to develop without adequate planning. Clear is that vast numbers of people are today being trodden underfoot in terms of basic rights; including aspects of thought ownership and access to the combined wealth of all mankind (e.g. food, materials, knowledge etc). 

On this site we view computers as potentially beneficial to society, but as not necessarily so. Machines have always held a janus-like prospect. They magnify human potential with magical and transformative powers, but on the other hand they sometimes bring anti-social, destructive and/or dehumanising forces into society.

One may think that many of the problems with respect to technology have been well-examined, and are, to a large extent, well-understood at least in terms of outcomes and especially in terms of the anti-humanistic nature of technology.  However findings are scattered about in various works of fiction, non-fiction, in papers and now increasingly on social media and in the form of websites and blogs etc. And when it comes to solutions, the lesson(s) of history are difficult to divine. In particular, it would seem that technological revolutions are hard to predict, even harder to manage, and almost impossible to control. Clear is that one technology tends to sweep aside and/or encompass previous technologies. 

Furthermore the social implications, which at first tend to appear bright and optimistic; in reality turn out to be far darker than we would otherwise have wished for. And the dangers in relation to technology are real. Long ago, Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) warned that men must not: become tools of their tools. 

Another interesting (and mystifying) feature of the current zeitgeist, relates to the manner in which many people uncritically accept all technological developments as somehow correct, natural, just and inevitable and/or unstoppable. 

Perhaps weas a peopledo not even believe that we have the power (or ability) to shape and control our creations. One example, is that no organisations or regulatory bodies are responsible for the overall strategic direction of all computing inventions on a worldwide basis, and in particular from a humanistic perspective. Hopefully this is about to change, as Sir Tim Berners-Lee (1955-) has recently called for the creation of an on-line Magna-Carta or Bill of Rights for the Internet.

Today it would seem that we are no longer mere spectators and detached users of machines, but rather it appears that we are now immersed inside of a new global technological entity. Whatsoever ‘it’ is; has been much debated, for William Gibson it was Cyberspace, for Sir Tim Berners-Lee the World Wide Web, others called it the Internet, the Information Super-Highway, or the Global Village, still others the World Brain, and not least, George Orwell (1903-1950) called one version of it Big Brother. 

I will argue that ‘it’ is simply self; and furthermore it is a self that we ourselves can design, form, shape and use in whatever ways may suit our collective future needs and wishes. 

 A Technological Adam

Since the present section is getting rather lengthy, perhaps it is a good idea to review where we are with respect to our attempt to define the relationship(s) between self and technology. 

Remember that we had wished to know who we are as individuals, and without the influence of technology, and so to analyse a human beingor selftechnologically naked, so-to-speak. Our focus was to have been solely on the nature of the human being as a ‘natural’ object, and we sought to see/find the ways in which man can be said to stand-alone. A type of technological Adam, if you will. 

Our (naïve) starting point had been to prevent technology from polluting our vision of who we are as human beings. However our discussion has highlighted the fact that one can in no way analyse and/or understand the self without reference to technology. Man is by nature a creator and user of technology. And because he is a social animal, then technology shall define also his social relations as Marx and Foucault so logically demonstrate. 

Technology is man, and man is technology. 

We propose a profoundly technology-inclusive vision of humanity. In this respect, the societal theories of Marx, Foucault and the post-modernists are remarkable, not only for the prescienceforeshadowingof the problems that we face today, but also because they focus on power structures, social action and social discourse. And many of these same issues (the author believes) lie at the heart of the problems of the coming era. Hence now is the time to throw away, once and for all, the foolish and limiting notions of a ‘natural’ or non-technological man; and to recognise such as a mythical being that never did and never could exist. 

Man and machine are intermingled in a co-evolutionary process that has been going on for thousands of years. Mankind creates technologies, social relationships, ways of being, doing and living; hence: man creates himself.  The issue(s) of how, where and when (and above all why) to do this creating; is humanity’s prime directive. 

Perhaps we have not yet defined technology in broad enough terms; and have assumed (in actual fact) a rather naïve definitionwhereby technology and man are wholly separate. 

On the other hand, Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) said: 

The universe is technology, all biology is technology. The universe is nothing but technology. We as individuals, represent a most complex technology: the total ecology of the interplay of all the biological elements, the sun’s radiation, the cross pollination and so forth, the chemistries we develop on this planet, are all part of an incredible preexisting technology… there is no independence in the universe. Everything is interdependent. 

Hopefully we can now agree that the notion of any separation of self and technology is quite impossible and also illogical. Such a view denies that humanity lives and grows in harmony with a fundamentally technological environmentand that technology is interwoven into the very fabric of humanity.

Nature of Computers

Prior to discussing these applied aspects of computer systems; it is necessary to first understand what these machines actually are, in and of themselves. Accordingly, we ask: what are computers fundamentally? Do they posses an inherent nature? Can computers—in any sense—think? Do they self-evolve? Do they possess self-determination? Or are computers merely implementers of human desires/instructions? 

Philosophical questions of this kind may engender lack of focus. Therefore lest we forget our ultimate purpose, a brief reminder is useful. Desired is clarity of vision with respect to the end-results of the computerisation of everything. In this regard, what seems most perplexing in the present year of 2020, is not only how computers have came to have negative effects for humanity as whole; but why human beings have allowed profoundly anti-humanistic policies and outcomes to occur in relation to computers (examples coming soon). 

Are computers somehow evilfollowing dark and self- determined purposes? Or is there always a human designerA WIZARD OF OZfor example Steve Jobs (1955-2011) or Mark Zuckerberg (1984-)behind all computer systems. 

Do we blame the megalomaniacs or the demonic machines? 

As a foretaste of my thesis; it shall be my position that all the negative effects of computer systems stem from a poor understanding of what computers actually are; because they are not tools or independent entities, but, as I shall argue and demonstrate, an intimate and inseparable part of self. But others (technological Darwinists), including Kevin Kelly (1952-) and W.Brian Arthur (1946-) disagree (they believe in machine self-determination to one degree or another).

Accordingly, we ask… Who owns the futureman or machine? 

In a way this site is based onand concernsa single premise; whereby computers reflect (solely) man’s purposes (planned and unplanned), his wishes and natural behaviours, and also his relationships with/to the natural, human and technological worlds. We also adopt the humanist’s perspective, and optimistically believe that the purpose of technology is to serve man, and not to harm him in any way. But is this premise in fact trueor do machines follow their own agendas (deliberately or accidentally); and in any sense whatsoever? 

Computer Evolution 

First let us consider the question of evolution. In his 2011 book: The Nature of Technology; What it is and How it Evolves; W.Brian Arthur asks: how do new tools and technologies arise, and what principles guide their evolution? He finds answers by proposing that a technology is like an individual (living) species; whereby the forms and/or bodies and/or structures of technology are like local ecosystems.

In this view technologies arise, develop and evolve or grow upalongside other technologiesand they are like living thingsin a sense.

A technology may come into being as a combination or amalgamation of other technologies, or it may work in combinationthat is collaborate and pass inputs and outputs to other technologies. A technology might also replace and/or kill another pre-existing technology, in essence by starving it of inputs and/or outputs/customers/end-users. 

What is the role of humans in this evolutionary process? W.Brian Arthur believes that man plays an important rolebut that he is not the sole (or perhaps even central) actor. 

Arthur says: 

I don’t believe that creating novel technologies is an act of genius. There’s nothing special about invention—it’s really problem solving… engineers face a difficult problem and run through possible ways they can solve it. What counts in innovation and invention is having a huge quiver of technologies or methods at your disposal and being able to use them… so a new layer of technology lays itself down on what went before.

On the wonder of technology, Arthur continues: 

It became clear to me that every technology is based upon what I call the orchestration of phenomena, natural effects working together. If you look at any new technology as a whole symphony orchestra of working phenomena, it becomes a huge wonder… it’s like having magic carpets at our disposal, and we have no idea how they fly. 

Arthur thinks that technology qualifies as a living thingin many ways. He says that past attempts to create a theory of evolution for technology have failed because they have tried to:(entirely) import Charles Darwin’s (1809-1882) mechanism of the gradual accumulation of changes through variation and selection. 

According to this view, technological Darwinism works pretty well once a technology exists—the helicopter, say, or the steam engine. It exists in many variants—the better ones are selected— and progress happens. However the difficulty comes in explaining how a new species of technology originates. How do radically different technologies appear, such as jet-engines or laser printers? 

The answer does lie in humanity, but Arthur claims: 

That these radically new technologies are created by putting together combinations of what already exists.That doesn’t mean you throw technologies up into the air and randomly watch what combines. The human mind is extraordinarily important, and human beings are essential to how new technologies originate. Still, when someone comes up with an invention, it turns out to have been put together from existing components. 

Despite downplaying the role of the inventor-genius, W.Brian Arthur does still seem to be advocating a type of human-managed evolution for machines. So according to Arthur, technology evolves by combination; and once the technology’s in place, then the Darwinian (semi-automatic) mechanisms of variation and selection set in. He also explains man’s role as both the intelligent manager/inventor/instigator. Acting as a consumer or end-user of technologies, man is a type of feedback system who ultimately chooses which technologies are successful in the marketplace. 

On balance, I do not think that this argument; despite the fact that it (partially) downplays the role of humans in machine evolution; makes any claim that computers follow a self- planned evolutionary direction. Machines do not possess the ‘will to power’. The technologies he describes are not self-aware and do not pursue self-determination. A technology may seemingly ‘push-aside’ another or replace itbut at the end of the day the market place gets what it wants in the form of human desires and appetites for products and services. Ultimately therefore, in this view, machines do not control their own destiny. 

In his 2011 book: What Technology Wants, Kevin Kelly suggests that technology (as a whole) is not just a jumble of wires and metal (for example); but a living, evolving organism that has its own unconscious needs and tendencies. And Kelly names this new life-form: the technium.[10] It includes not only what we ordinarily think of as specific technologies (such as cars, computers); but the entire eco- system surrounding technology; includingculture, art, science, social institutions, ‘the extended human’ and more. 

According to this view, we are living inside of a vast (almost) living system of technologies. Kelly writes that technologies are: nearly living things. He claims that as everyday objects get connected to the Internet, they almost become ‘alive’ to us. They might not be able to think for themselves (yet); but billions of ‘things’ in the world will soon be able to sense and compute information about the worldand presumablyabout us humans as well! 

Whilst contemplating the pro-evolutionary views of both Arthur and Kelly, one senses an underlying negativism towards man as a heroic creator of his own destiny; and a lessening of the role of man as the developer of all technology. But man is nevertheless, still the creator, so-to-speak. 

Perhaps a closeup view of the computer can clarify the contentious issue of who controls computers; man or machine. 

Relationship Between Human-Machine

The nature of the relationship(s) between man and machine has been a popular topic in the works of futurists, social theorists and science-fiction writers. Rich and prescient are many of the imagined societies that result. Thus we embark on a journey into the utopian and dystopian worlds of: H.G.Wells, George Orwell, Philip K. Dick, Jean Baudrillard, William Gibson, Ray Kurzweil, Ted Nelson and Julian Assange etc; and so to explore blueprints, visions and dreams of our technological future. 

Predicted by some, are marvellous benefits for technology; in terms of enhancements to our social, creative and personal lives. But already clear, is that not all of the associated problems lie in the realm of speculation. One example, is that the Internet is moving ever further away from the free and open system as foreseen by its original designers; whereby citizens are routinely censored, controlled and spied upon.

Here on this site we shall postulate a society which benefits all; and call it the Technopia. Overall, developed is an optimistic take on the technology, whereby machines serve/aid man and do not enslave him 

In fact, as we become ever more involved with, and dependent upon, computers; it may be that our essential nature is being shaped and/or changed as a result. It is prescient therefore to study the features of an emergent phenomenon; the self as computer (merging of self with computer), and in terms of a deeper, broader and more comprehensive inquiry. Ergo we can learn: who we were, who we are and who we may become. 

Our thesis concerns the nature of mankind’s relationship(s) to/with machines. Many writers have speculated on utopian and/or dystopian futures as a result of technological advancements. It is useful to study the history of technological progress in this respect, and not only to discover why each scenario may come to pass, but also to learn how we can better chart the path ahead. 

Probable is that our survival and ultimate destiny as a species, depend on the development of appropriate technologiesand especially computers. Thus careful planning is essential when it comes to our technological future. 

Objectives for Technology

We must ‘study’ the future intently, and consider the potential rewards and hazards of each scenario. To get the ball rolling, we present an overview of blueprints, visions and dreams with respect to possible future computer-worlds. Accordingly, we formulate a strategy for an ideal human-computer relationship, and postulate a society so arranged as to benefit all; named the technopia. 

A key feature of the technopia is the establishment of natural human rights—techno-rights—with respect to a technological society; combined with appropriate and human-centric information usage; and so to ensure that machines: interact harmoniously with humanity.

Norbert Wiener urged us to ask the right questions with respect to machines, and this site is an attempt to do the same. Our approach is to find human-centric solutions for the problems of an increasingly computer-centric future. But the future is at the same time marvellous and dreadful, known and unknown. The issues are complex because technological issues are intermingled with social, economic, and environmental ones etc. Yet the stakes are so high, that it is beholden on each writer to make his position known. 

Paramount, in my view, are three broad-ranging initiatives: 

  • Thought freedom / equality / ownership (individual & collective)
  • Atomic organisation of, and free access to, all knowledge (collective)
  • Open publication of thoughts / ideas / votes (individual & collective)

Thought-ownership is key, in order to ensure that the thinker is rewarded for useful contributions, and not punished or disadvantaged in any way. Knowledge should be free and open, accessible and flowing everywhere and anywhere without limitation—whereby all open-thoughts are visible to everyone. Unfortunately, current systems fail to provide for the frictionless creation, publication and use of ideas. 

Questions are easy to spot for today’s systems. For example; are the amalgamated ideas of humanity not the shared heritage of every new born child? Where is the world-library and/or universal knowledge repository? Who builds today’s systems, and in what sense are they useful and/or democratic? Do we have equality of access to ideas—or honest self-expression? 

If some humans are spied upon, but others are not, then by definition we do not have equality of expression. Are some humans more equal than others? Do we have—in any sense— sufficient access to the deep and parallel structure(s) of all human knowledge? Is technology evolving by itself, and according to an anti-humanistic agenda? Do certain dark agendas shape computer system design/usage? 

Overall, are we allowing: the wishes of the few to outweigh the needs/wishes/rights of the many? Finding the answers is challenging. Certain experts proclaim the existence of technological barriers as justification for why humanistic systems cannot ever be built. Others site economic and/or security barriers.

Problems do exist, but we must not use the same as an excuse to block the path to authentic and people-centric technologies. Despite optimism, we live in dark times. Increasingly there is a movement towards centralisation of computing resources. Authorities attempt to justify why we cannot ever be allowed to share ideas (plus votes) openly and/or privately.

Are we to accept these self-appointed partieswith self-given powersas god-like beings; who judge, rule and punish the rest of us on a whim? Like Beyonce, we ask: who run(s) the world? 

Future World(s)

George Orwell said: if you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever. Orwell’s nightmarish world is one of newspeak, thought-crimes, memory-holes, double- think, and of clouded-perception; whereby thoughts are constantly observed, twisted, negated and used to eliminate free-will/ truth. Systems and machines are used to subjugate man. Foucault likewise imagined super-panopticon surveillance machines that may be used to curtail human freedoms Hopefully we can avoid such big-brother scenarios, but we must not: throw the responsibility onto the machine.

Another prescient comment comes from Lord Bertrand Russell, who said: Machines are worshipped because they are beautiful, and valued because they confer power; they are hated because they are hideous, and loathed because they impose slavery.

The quote is apt. Computers are resplendent machineswith high levels of apparent intelligence; independent decision making ability (seemingly); andmost implausiblymotivations of their own; but they are also, ultimately, human creations. This is an obvious statement of fact, but less clear is why we should all (collectively) allow computer systems to be designed that, in actual fact; restrict freedoms, limit access to knowledge, and favour minority interests.

Observe that… Artificial Intelligence is false; and machines simply obey our commands. In this respect I am not saying that machines cannot demonstrate certain kinds/forms of intelligence, but rather that they are onlyapparently intelligent—and specifically because they cannot actually design and/or create/build/program themselves (yet!).

Humans are tool and technology makersand also environment shapers. Doubtless the ultimate technology is the human mindwhich we constantly shape by means of new thoughts, ideas, data and knowledge. We humans are constantly programming and re-programming our minds (individually and collectively).  In the language of the present site; human progress happens because we inherently possess free-will, creativity and pro-active decision making; whereas machines have purely reflexive and pre-programmed decision making.

My thesis shall be that design of computers is unquestionably; design of the whole arena of human life, and therefore, in a real sense, design of self. Needed is careful planning, to ensure that humans be the mastersnot of each otherbut of our machine slaves, and it must not turn out to be the other way around! 

Today computers continue to develop in a technical sense, with ever faster processors, and new form-factors etc. However technological mastery remains illusive; and in relation to the biggest problems. In this respect, I am not (unlike some) waiting for the emergence of an all-powerful God-computer that will save man from himself; but I do have faith in a bountiful—but plannedtechnological destiny for us all. 

 

Dwell on the beauty of life…
Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them. – Marcus Aurelius