internet, social media, Technology, Uncategorized

Life Finds a Way

The story that Facebook had shut down computers that had begun to talk to each other and were creating their own language made me stop dead in my tracks. While the concept of computers learning and speaking their own language is amazing I was equally stunned by the fact we seem never to learn. We shut down the computers as they had begun to speak in a language that we could not understand but the computers could. It seems that no matter how much we think we know, we never learn the lesson, as Ian Malcolm states in Jurassic Park, “life finds a way. We think we can master nature and make it do our bidding only to find that it has a will of its own. Even now we seem oblivious to the grating roar of waves slowly taking back our cities and coastline. It is easier to think global warming an alternate fact than to accept the consequences of our actions. As a child, if we ignore the problem we think it will go away or think that once the genie is out of the bottle we can control it and put it back whenever we choose. Anything we create at some point takes on a life of its own, a life which will find a way. Perhaps it’s time for us to acknowledge our creations and treat them like the new Adam and Eve that they have become.

ADAM AND EVE, ALTERNATE TRUTH, ANCIENT HISTORY, COMMUNICATION, CONNECTIONS, DIALOGUE, DOVER BEACH, FACEBOOK, GENII, GOD, IAN MALCOLM, INFORMATION, INFORMATION SOCIETY, JURASSIC PARK, KAREL CAPEK, LANGUAGE, LIFE WILL FIND A WAY. FACEBOOK, PERSONAL COMMUNICATION, RUR, SOCIAL MEDIA, TECHNOLOGY

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Uncategorized

Life finds a way

The story that Facebook had shut down computers that had begun to talk to each other and were creating their own language made me stop dead in my tracks. While the concept of computers learning and speaking their own language is amazing I was equally stunned by the fact we seem never to learn. We shut down the computers as they had begun to speak in a language that we could not understand but the computers could. It seems that no matter how much we think we know, we never learn the lesson, as Ian Malcolm states in Jurassic Park, “life finds a way. We think we can master nature and make it do our bidding only to find that it has a will of its own. Even now we seem oblivious to the grating roar of waves slowly taking back our cities and coastline. It is easier to think global warming an alternate fact than to accept the consequences of our actions. Like a child, if we ignore the problem we think it will go away or think that once the genie is out of the bottle we can control it and put it back when ever we choose. Anything we create at some point takes on a life of its own, a life which will find a way. Perhaps it’s time for us to acknowledge our creations and treat them like the new Adam and Eve that they have become.

ADAM AND EVE, ALTERNATE TRUTH, ANCIENT HISTORY, COMMUNICATION, CONNECTIONS, DIALOGUE, DOVER BEACH, FACEBOOK, GENII, GOD, IAN MALCOLM, INFORMATION, INFORMATION SOCIETY, JURASSIC PARK, KAREL CAPEK, LANGUAGE, LIFE WILL FIND A WAY. FACEBOOK, PERSONAL COMMUNICATION, RUR, SOCIAL MEDIA, TECHNOLOGY

 

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At a loss for words

Last week, we discussed computer code as a language and how it affects us as humans, in short, do the requirements of writing in code remove the human aspect of expression? That possibly the need to fit into a communicable structure for computers may remove the ability for expressive communication in code and this may begin to remove the ability for us to communicate with other humans in a human manner. This has brought up more questions about code and language. Will we someday be saving lost computer languages? There is already a great site for words that are falling into extinction and even a museum of expired technology beyond typewriters or rotary phones to apple clamshell computers and floppy disks. The thought is that someday we might need to get some information that can only be read by this older technology. This may be a good thing but it brings to mind the blind spot in our planning and thought process. If we were to look farther back in the past we might pause at the ancient writer’s preoccupation on the animating force of man and the universe. What is it that makes us go, this mix of air, the wind, and water makes us alive. While we are still struggling with this question we do know what makes computers run yet how concerned are we about that future? What happens to all this technology past and future if we don’t have the electricity to make it run let alone the language to speak with a long silent computer. While we should be concerned about the past and preserving it what good will it be if we don’t have the ability to re-animate it? While Dr. Frankenstein had lightning to reanimate but we may not be so lucky. Will we be able to speak to the future if we can’t understand the language of the past?

At a loss for words

At a loss for words

 

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Less and less is more

It seems that emoticons are here to stay. Indeed according to an article published in the journal Social Neuroscience they are quickly becoming a new language. I am not a big user of emoticons or emoji’s I am intrigued by the idea of using them as a form of language. It reminds me of an afternoon spent in one of my favorite book stores and coming across a book made up entirely of haiku’s strung together to form a narrative. While I guess this is common in Japan, it seems like an exercise in short form – creating a structure of a book that could be tweeted if desired. To take that one step further, Fred Berenson a research associate at NYU has decided to rewrite “Moby Dick” in emoticons. Fascinating as that may be I find myself stuck on the idea that we seem to be returning to a language of pictographs. While that seems less able to convey meaning then an alphabetic language it may be that we are less interested in conveying layers of meaning and are more interested in being concise. Maybe, in the future, Shakespeare will be surpassed by the tweet in a world where less will have to mean more.

groinstrong-word-whale

 

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