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FleshFactor: The internet is not technology.

A E C  F O R U M - "F L E S H F A C T O R"

The internet is not a technology.  It uses technology, and it
drives technology, but the internet itself is not technology.

The internet is an agreement.  Agreements are the most powerful forces in
the universe.  Agreeing to speak a common language, agreeing on an
alphabet, the Magna Carta, the U.S. constitution, are all great agreements
of history.  And every day our shared agreement that we exist, that we
will count the other as real and not a simulation, drives us forward out
of sleep and into the arms and eyes and ears of our colleagues. 

The internet is an agreement about how computers will talk. 
IP/TCP/HTTP/HTML is the name of the universal language.  That agreement
drives technology, because now it can be incredibly cheap.  That agreement
drives commerce because there is a common ground for discussion, and on
which to build.  That agreement drives this discussion, because we can
confidently create forums that include all with computers. 

Someday there will be an agreement about the periphery of human beings
that intersects with the periphery of the web.  That agreement will be
about talking, and ownership, and feelings, especially feelings.  That
agreement will help us decide if we feel invaded or connected.  The
fleshfactor discussion clarifies that we do not know how to feel, or how
to see, in this new world.  We will create a way to see.  That creation
will be the creation of an agreement. 


Mark Weiser, Chief Technologist
Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)
(also drummer for Severe Tire Damage, first band on the Internet)

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