As a final blog post for the class I wanted to make a post attempting to directly address the direction of humanity as a whole.
There is the idea of post-humanism and trans-humanism. There is this idea that humans are moving away from the classical bounding of flesh and soul; into something new. A good cause to this shift – although not the inception of it – is the internet. Designed as a system for the military to maintain contact after a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, the internet, as it exists today profoundly shapes every single aspect of human interaction.
It is so difficult to understand the function of life without this network of information called the internet. I am writing post in “Word Online” which is the Microsoft Cloud version of MS Word. This text is being generated by some anonymous server. I plan on submitting it to a website that is a “blog.” This blog acts as a public square of debate, but doesn’t have any physical existence – it is purely digital. I get my music streamed over the Google Cloud. I watch my movies through the Amazon Cloud. I read BBC on my phone via the internet. I’m not alone, sure, most people consume all of their media over the internet. But the infrastructure of the world is driven by the internet.
Stock trading platforms are used over the internet. With only a few commands, you can trade money for shares on the NYSE or the NASDAQ. Banks transfer large amounts of money via the internet. The methods of encryption and VPNs keep communication secure for the military or private sector when working across the world or down the street. Mapping of traffic. Dangerous weather updates. Email, the service that acts as a digital mail box – probably the most essential of any digital presence.
The internet is so ubiquitous in the world today that we now understand its presence not as life with internet, but instead just life. The internet has changed the human condition. The internet has recreated the image of the world in the form of a global village. The internet is the best platform for trade and is probably the best hope for world peace. Just an example to follow up with. This crisis occurring in Gaza is being updated by the people living in the Gaza strip real time. This effect on Israel’s image is only made possible through the use of the internet and it has been clearly putting international pressure on the situation.
In my final project I talk about big data. Big data is to the internet as baseball statistics are to the MLB. Sure the MLB is entertaining to watch (for some at least) and you don’t need massive amounts of information to understand it – it serves the purpose of baseball games without the information. Behind the scenes though, there is data that exists, and by accessing that data, people are able to predict trends or compare players. Big data is going to be a massive force in the next 10 years. How you control your data now will greatly shape your image in the future. The core idea that I believe will be the new human is: human = body + data. I had a great summer, hope y’all did too!