Marshall McLuhan said that devices we use to extend our sensory range (telephones, television, cameras, InterNet) became a part of an extended nervous system - aloowing us to compensate for what nature failed to provide us with, sensorily range- and acuity-wise.

Makes you wonder how long it will be until we start finding ways to permanently attach devices to our body to enhance ourselves. Whether implants to aid hearing and make wireless communication that easy, or computers to aid memory or thought or teach us skills, or even cosmetic additions.

As students at the University of Toronto, the College of Illuminati at Fenwick House of Campus Co-op, theorized extensively about a Berkeley Box, my term, after the work of Bishop Berkeley. We had also read much Marshall McLuhan.

Our theory was that if some technology, to us a black box, then, could somehow be attached to our nerves, both in-coming, and out-going, then we could do a number of things--apparently wonderful.

Direct communications between people, without the mediation of language, or any other technology--absolutely immediate!

But we also forsaw a dark side. it seemed to us that people would begin to prefer their own fantasys to even the immediacy of contact with others. But ultimately, what is the difference between input from others, mediated by the Berkeley Box, and input recycled from oneself through the Berkeley Box? And without renewal of detail, wouldn't what is recycled begin to deteriorate.

How profound we were!! This was only the trend of centuries of technological evolution. (See Smell-O-Vision)

And isn't this the vision of the future: see The computer is not a medium--maybe it is the Berkeley Box. But is this dark side realized by ahy of the technology zealots?

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.