6th June 2003 - On the Internet

Yesterday I read "On the Internet (Thinking in Action)" by Hubert Dreyfus. This book describes the practical as well as philosophical problems –and advantages- provided by the Internet. Dreyfus makes some very interesting points in the tradeoff between global presence within the constraints of the internet compared to local presence which all senses.

Although my experience is limited with regards to Dreyfus writings, it appears that he is always able to voice his skepticism about artificial intelligence, but aside from this intermezzo, the book makes points that I can relate to from my own experiences. In particular the potential for knowledge sharing across the internet has amazed me; as I write this entry 9.000 users have been accessing this site, and a large number has taken the time to correspond and provided feedback for me. On the other hand, my own experience from communicating more closely with people on the internet has definitely proven inferior to that of personal dialogues, especially on those matters that reside outside the traditional sphere of practical quantifiable knowledge.

In general I would highly recommend this book as a very competent philosophical input for those of us who tend to be focused on technological progress; technology has a flipside which could render us all more distant rather than closer as is indeed the goal of the information age.

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Updated 2003-06-10

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The official homepage of Morten Middelfart and CALM. Computer Aided Leadership and Management (CALM) is an inspirational speculation on where mankind may be heading in the quest to leverage computer potentials for helping individuals and organizations to self-actualize their symbiotic potentials.

The time frame for this well-informed and provocative speculation on relatively near-term and more distant potentials is clearly within mankind's grasp. Dr. Middelfart argues persuasively that within the next one or two decades, symbiotic links with "intelligent machines" will surely leverage people's potentials, far beyond all human progress to date!

Altogether, a tour de force of well-informed contemporary insights and maturely reasoned speculation; affording possible stepping stones and a creative springboard for what may lie ahead. As has been said: "Man's reach should exceed his grasp; else what's a heaven for?”


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