Friday, June 7, 2013

#158 / All Things Digital

There is an online publication called "All Things D." Click the link for immediate access. Click this link for the Wikipedia discussion.  The "D" is for "Digital." I get periodic bulletins from the publishers, advising me of the newest gadgets, and the newest ideas. Recently, it struck me that the title of the website is actually making a claim about reality itself. In short, that all things really ARE "digital," where "are" means "equal to."

I think we need to pay attention to this concept. It seems to be gaining ground, and it could be infiltrating our thinking. Our music is digital. Our photographs are digital. Our medical records are digital. And so on. I am not sure I am very comfortable with the idea that  the realities of our world actually "are" just a series of bits and bytes (0010000101). 

People do seem to be moving in that direction, however, and there are "real world" consequences.  Jaron Lanier, who popularized the term "virtual reality," and who some denominate as a "digital visionary," says that the internet is destroying the middle class. That would be an example of how a "virtual reality" might destroy our "real" reality. Unless there isn't actually any "real" reality, and the truth of the world is that all things are D!

The newest effort to transform "real" things into digital equivalents involves using 3-D printers to "print" our food

This is no joke. They'll try it first in space. Then, it's coming to a roadside restaurant near you. 

Printing our food will be cheaper, they claim. 

Do I hear better?

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