In Wired for Thought: How the Brain Is Shaping the Future of the Internet published by Harvard Business Press (2009), Jeffrey M. Stibel identifies and then examines what he characterizes as eight ideas “that will help you think about the Internet in a new way”:
1. The Internet is a brain.
2. The human brain is rather dumb – but that is precisely why it’s so smart.
3. The history of technology is not really a history but an evolution – one machine supplanting another in a Darwinian race for dominance.
4. Although the brain is a poor calculating machine, it is a pretty efficient prediction machine.
5. Just as human intelligence is a matter of creating and destroying memories and ideas, so is the Internet a machine that creates only to destroy.
6. Language is an attribute that many consider uniquely human, but it is at the heart of the most popular and important tool on the Internet: search.
7. Inevitably, the Internet will crash. But it will get better and stronger with each crash.
8. The Internet may never be “conscious” in the human sense (and who needs it?), but it will be (already is) capable of creating and collective conscious.
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In layman’s terms and with patience worthy of Job, Stibel explains the meaning and significance of these and other thought-provoking concepts. If you want to put some white caps on your gray matter, look no further.