Darryl, you`re suggesting a move toward urbanization, but I think I`d
disagree with that. Yes, we`re seeing an increase in the urban
population, but are the people using computers and technology...or is
it an increasing gathering of the technologically unsophisticated?
I`m wondering about this, given the seeming move toward the suburbs. I
would argue that instead of urban centers, we`ll see an increase in
"collar" communities and telecommuting. I`d think that the more
efficient way of doing things would be to use the urban centers as
"distribution" points, fed by work from those surrounding communities.
If that were the case, then I think we`d use energy more efficiently by
having transportation and shipping go to urban "hubs," and then move
outward. We might use as a model something like Walmart`s ordering
online, then shipping to their local store for pickup by the customer.
3) (for something totally off the wall) I like Darryl`s reference to the emergence of new structures within
humanity. Carl Jung proposed that there is a collective consciousness
shared by all of humanity. Recently, I wondered if such a
consciousness was actually the collective realization of our limbic
system, then could the WWW be a collective realization of our
Actually, this isn`t all that off the wall. I`ll argue that everything
humanity creates is a physical representation of ideas and
consciousness. I don`t mean in the New Age sense, but rather in a
psychological sense. We can`t help it, as we`re creating using our own
To that end, a computer is a physical reflection of human mind---we
think a certain way, so we create a machine that also thinks in that
way. We wouldn`t understand the machine if it weren`t similar to how
our own mind and brain functions.
The human race---and yes, it`s interesting that Interent future
discussions naturally lead to the future of humanity---is indeed at a
crossroads. We can move backward, becoming primitive again, or we can
move forward, evolving into something new.
I`ll also argue the case that the only two reasons societies form are
that nature selects for 1) conserving resources, and 2) sharing stored
information. That`s the underlying case for the "two heads are better
than one" idea Darryl brought up.
This discussion almost immediately focused on both selectors, with raw
energy (to power the Internet), and shared information---the Internet
itself. If we make an analogy of previous societies being
hunting-gathering, the local marketplace is a sort of moment of
opportunity. We hunt for local customers, gather money, and so forth.
Or; we hunt for bargains, and gather merchandise as we buy it.
Eventually, all small tribes run out of local resources and so they
have to move. Historically, the human race has tended to
move---explore. We`ve colonized, discovered, pioneered, and set up
farms. And that`s the thing---the agricultural shift that brought about
modern society conserves resources by using sustainable methods, and
stores information across multiple generations.
We can`t move anymore, unless we move into space or the deep ocean. But
the Internet offers a better way to conserve resources, with things
like remote working and education. It definitely improves stored
information (and its access).
However!...ALL of this critically depends on the mail system, shipping,
transportation, and therefore, energy and logistics. It also is
critically dependent upon electrical power. And that`s where I think
Paula is suggesting that as we run out of energy for electricity and
shipping, the Internet will shrink.
I think we may run out of competent shipping people before we`ll run out of electrical energy. :-)