Internet as an Entity?
Channeling the Net Through
a Robotic Typewriter

2004-2005, Fang-Yu "Frank" Lin

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With the continuing development of the net, and the ambitious proposition of ubiquitous computing by those who desire to network everything, the advancement of the Internet is presumably intertwined with the future of human society. What does the future hold? Would the boundary between reality and virtuality finally collapse and the world give place to "a supercivilization, the synthesis of all solar-system life, constantly improving and extending itself, spreading outward from the sun, converting nonlife into mind (Moravec 1988)"? Should that happen, what would become of the fresh and blood? Would the rising intelligence "explode into the universe, leaving us behind in a cloud of dust (Moravec)"? This seemingly benign typewriter might actually provide us a glimpse into that sinister future, being a "toy model of the great one who holds the fate of mankind in its hands (Adorno 1974)." Or, maybe what the project offers is nothing but an illusion. As Katherine Hayles wrote: "Think of the Turing test as a magic trick. Like all good magic tricks, the test relies on letting you to accept at an early stage assumptions that will determine how you interpret what you see later (1999)." Is this an illumination or an illusion? You may find your answer – where else – on the Internet.