Bot-mediated reality

Having just spent upwards of 25 hours in a car driving between Peterborough, Toronto, and Pukaskwa National Park, one of the ways we passed the time was listening to a variety of podcasts, including Philosophy Bites, CBC Ideas, and the Long Now Foundation’s Seminars About Long Term Thinking (SALT).

While SALT has hosted a bevy of fascinating and influential guests, including Craig Venter, Jimmy Wales, Francis Fukuyama, and Ray Kurzweil, Daemon: Bot-Mediated Reality by author and software engineer Daniel Suarez was one of the most interesting and thought-provoking (mp3 here).

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Hyperempowerment? Really?

In a recent issue of the Edge newsletter, I came across the transcript of a speech delivered by “digital ethnologist” Mark Pesce at the 2008 Personal Democracy Forum, titled “Hyperpolitics (American style)” that presented some interesting ideas on how the current explosion of connectivity (or hyperconnectivity, as Pesce emphasizes) is impacting politics in general, and liberalism and democracy in particular.

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