A vision for the future

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Name: Mike Long

From: Virginia

Bio: pc geek since 1979

Area of Expertise: Author/Editor/Journalist

Topic: Technology

Headline: Plugged In: Wetware

Nutshell: The world of information connected directly to the process of thinking.

Vision: The bottleneck in the Internet is not only the keyboard but the information management system behind the Internet. In the future, we will be able to think of what we need - say, the conversion from ounces to gallons - issue a query by thinking it, and have the information delivered back to us. The key to this is of course the HUGE problem of understanding the nature of consciousness... but it can be done with enough experimentation on where events occur in various parts of the brain. The early versions we will see will be heads-up displays or in-ear responders that are driven by voice. Once such a direct-to-brain system is in place, we will have to confront a new kind of egalitarianism in culture: power will no longer belong to the "smartest people" because everyone will have access to the same information. Power instead will belong to those with the best system for organizing and accessing that information. We will be defined not by what we know, but by how well we can process and synthesize what everybody knows... which will be, to put it plainly, everything.

Date Submitted: 11/10/2004

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