network nation (1984) SECONDSIGHT 30 - 23 Jul 2012
Birth of a network nation
Written by Kevin Kelly in 1984
Computers may be calculating, but can they be socially responsible? Is teleconferencing oracular or vernacular? And will you find the love of your life on a silicon-chip bulletin board? Our reporter looks for the brains and comes up with the heart and the soul.
Define a network as at least two computers linked together, usually via telephone wires; the network nation is a web of people stretching from Bar Harbor to San Diego, from Seattle to St. Petersburg, linked electronically to one another through the medium of their computers. At this moment, in the pattern of the jiggly electrons pooled behind your telephone plug, minds meet with& out bodies, commute to work, and visit friends.This kaleidoscopic networking is done with dinky computers or sleek $3,000 machines. Computer neighbors can leave notes or write stories and news to each other, which can be read on the computer screen anytime; these messages can be strictly private or made public for everyone to discuss.