Internet fast: The degradation of predictability - and knowledge
Nassim N. Taleb
, Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering, NYU-Poly, for his contribution [to the online symposium
see also my summary of Hillis' post for context] has argued that greater information produces greater confidence, and in this post adds that since the Internet does not merely increase our access to information but also our interdependence (see the previous post). Interdependence increases fads (he uses both Harry Potter and the globalisation of runs on banks as examples). "Such world
", he writes, "is more "complex", more moody, much less predictable
His conclusion is practical and personal, in an attempt to regain wisdom like that shown by the ancients and people from the pre-Internet past, he is enjoying an Internet fast:
I am not entirely deprived of the Internet; this is just a severe diet, with strict rationing. True, technologies are the greatest things in the world, but they have way too monstrous side effects — and ones rarely seen ahead of time. And since spending time in the silence of my library, with little informational pollution, I can feel harmony with my genes; I feel I am growing again.
Labels: culture, digital, internet