Wednesday, September 22, 2010


The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries, with vast air shafts between, surrounded by very low railings. From any of the hexagons one can see, interminably, the upper and lower floors... I say that the Library is unending... 

A blasphemous sect suggested that the searches should cease and that all men should juggle letters and symbols until they constructed, by an improbable gift of chance, these canonical books... 

I suspect that the human species -- the unique species -- is about to be extinguished, but the Library will endure: illuminated, solitary, infinite, perfectly motionless, equipped with precious volumes, useless, incorruptible, secret. -Jorge Luis Borges, Library of Babel

1. "Digital information lasts forever, or ________, whichever comes first."

2. Jaron Lanier, inventor of _____________, noted the constant self-obsolescing tendency of fast-moving computer technology with respect to an art video game he created but could not re-create less than two decades later.

3. (T/F) Stewart Brand thinks we should stop digitizing everything, on the assumption that software development will inevitably, permanently outpace our ability to update media storage.

4. We'll know we've achieved a long-term perspective when we begin to mark our calendar years how?

5. Vernor Vinge predicts that the Internet will eventually _________.

6. We're at a perfect point in time to gather the _______ of technology.

7. What's the ultimate reason for initiating something ambitious?

8. Are things getting better? If you think not, what's your attitude towards the future? Does it make sense to you to be optimistic in the long-term but pessimistic in the short-term? (Or vice-versa?) Explain.

9. A recent book is called I Live in the Future. What would you expect Brand to say about it?

10. What does Jaron Lanier mean by "karmic vertigo"? Can it be avoided by avoiding long-term predictions? Is it possible to believe in a future you cannot imagine?

No comments: Accelerating Intelligence News