On a drab, cold November day in south-east England there’s nothing better than a tonic. Strength Weekly, as readers know, wishes to increase the sum of human happiness by any means possible. Today this will be effected by the publication of just one paragraph of technocultural clairvoyance. While reading the paragraph it is important to suppress any scepticism about the feasibility of the upbeat forecast contained within it.
The paragraph’s author, Kevin Kelly, is a long-running techno-utopian and founder editor of Wired magazine who generally sees only the very best futures unfolding from new technology. He is considerably exercised by the possibility (in his view, an inevitability) that the billions of computing objects in the world will eventually merge to produce a super-computer.
“The next stage in human technological evolution is a single thinking/web/computer that is planetary in dimensions. This planetary computer will be the largest, most complex and most dependable machine we have ever built. It will also be the platform that most business and culture will run on. The web is the initial OS (operating system) of this new global machine, and all the many gadgets we possess are the windows into its core. Future gizmos will be future gateways into the same One Machine. Designing products and services for this new machine require a unique mind-set.”
What fun this could be – you’d never have to think again! Religious in its unstated yet mythic referencing but also very much of its time insofar as it commends the amassing of gadgetry as a means of transcendence. Wouldn’t it be great if it happened next week? I think so.