Link to my Globorg page
World Wide Mind Control
The New York Review of Books, June 23, 2011
Edited by Andy Ross
World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines, and the
By Michael Chorost
The Filter Bubble: What the Internet
Is Hiding from You
By Eli Pariser
You Are Not a Gadget: A
By Jaron Lanier
Michael Chorost had a brain–computer interface implanted in his head after
he went deaf in 2001. He is now a cheerleader for the rest of us getting
kitted out with our own in-brain computers. In Chorost's ideal world, we
will all be connected directly to the Internet via a neural implant, so that
the Internet "would become seamlessly part of us, as natural and simple to
use as our own hands."
Eli Pariser: "Most of us assume that when we
google a term, we all see the same results — the ones that the company’s
famous Page Rank algorithm suggests are the most authoritative based on
other page's links." But with personalized search, "now you get the result
that Google's algorithm suggests is best for you in particular — and someone
else may see something entirely different. In other words, there is no
standard Google anymore."
A study in the spring issue of Sociological
Quarterly examined attitudes toward global warming between 2001 and 2010 and
found that the percentage of Republicans who said that the planet was
beginning to warm dropped from 49 to 29 percent, while for Democrats, the
percentage went up, from 60 to 70 percent. It was as if the groups were
getting different messages about the science, and most likely they were. By
having our own ideas bounce back at us, we inadvertently indoctrinate
ourselves with our own ideas.
Jaron Lanier: "The rise of the web was
a rare instance when we learned new, positive information about human
potential. Who would have guessed (at least at first) that millions of
people would put so much effort into a project without the presence of
advertising, commercial motive, threat of punishment, charismatic figures,
identity politics, exploitation of the fear of death, or any of the other
classic motivators of mankind. In vast numbers, people did something
cooperatively, solely because it was a good idea, and it was beautiful."
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the duo who started Google, paired small ads
with their search engine as a way to fund it. It was not their intent, at
first, to create the largest global advertising platform in the history of
the world, or to move marketing strategy away from pushing products toward
consumers to pulling individual consumers toward specific products and
brands. But to pull you into a transaction, companies believe they need to
know not only your current interests, but what you have liked before, how
old you are, your gender, where you live, how much education you have, and
on and on.
We have come to accept that commerce is a really cool
aspect of the Web's shift into social networking. Lanier: "The only hope for
social networking sites from a business point of view is for a magic formula
to appear in which some method of violating privacy and dignity becomes
The personalization and the self-expression promoted by
the Internet diminishes the value of personhood and individuality.
Engineers have changed the way we do research and medicine and read books
and communicate with each other and pay the bills and on and on. In 2004,
Larry Page envisioned a future where your brain is augmented by Google, so
that when you think of something, your cell phone whispers the answer into
Stuart Wolf, in an interview with Fortune, imagined that we
shall soon be wearing a headband that feeds directly into the brain and lets
us talk without speaking, see around corners, and drive by thinking.
DARPA is pouring millions of dollars into the development of a battlefield
thought helmet that will let soldiers in the field communicate wordlessly by
translating brain waves into audible radio messages.
scientists at the Free University in Berlin used EEG sensors to read the
brain wave patterns for driving commands and then sent the data to a
computer-controlled car. A driver was able to control the car with thoughts.
AR This article did not cite my
Globorg book. Forgive me, Sue, but it should have