Z515 Spring 2015

Coliseum Shadows

Where does the internet end and the real world begin?

Where does the mind end and the external world begin?

Both of these questions initially seem like they have obvious and simple answers. There are clear boundaries between the digital and physical world and between the mind and the external world.

But the boundary isn’t so clear. The theory of external and distributed cognition show that our mind extends beyond our own body and uses the external world and other people to help us think. If we write something down in some sense we have expanded our memory outside of our own body. Suddenly there is no clear separation between mind and world. Because we are using the world as part of our mind.

I discovered a related concept in the Resmini and Rosati reading where they reference Kuniavsky theory of information shadow. The idea is that almost every object in the physical world projects into the digital world. Using the Coliseum as an example, there are geotagged photos, wikipedia articles, tweets, facebook posts, videos of the Coliseum online. So in a sense, the Coliseum exists both in the real world and in the digital world. Its not because one person took the effort to try to digitize the Coliseum and put it online through a structured set of data. Its through collective interactions of everyone that we are creating an image of the real world in the digital world. As this trend continues there is less need for explicit organization. Because the internet will transform from a shadow of the world to be so integrated and embedded and aware of the world that we won’t have to manually structure the information.

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This entry was written by Eugene Mullen and published on March 26, 2015 at 6:09 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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