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IPv6… Unstoppable Road to Hyperconnectivity: Blame It On Opiates!

Yves Poppe

Some think IPv6 with its myriad addresses will accelerate the evolution of a hyperconnected world. But could a world where everything and everybody is sensed, monitored, located, to augment our quasi real-time interaction with the world outside our little selves, lead to total dependency, if not to gradual stupidity of the human race? Not surprisingly, a favourite topic for (late night) Internet Conference bar discussions.

The latest issue of Atlantic Monthly wonders "Is Google making us stupid”. Would over dependency on Google searches lead to a lack of depth in our reasoning, attention deficit, ultimately impact the wiring of our brain? A concern I share when I see the handwriting (or lack there-off) of the younger generation and mine slowly degrade. How to find your destination without a GPS? A restaurant without location based service on your (smart)phone?

Plato in his days wondered in Phaedrus whether the discovery of writing was merely a tool for reminding, detrimental to the exercise of our memory as writing is silent and cannot answer questions or defend itself. If Plato came back he would see that, with hypertext and Google, the written word can answer direct questions and provide context. The wiki era even seems to give a way to the written word to defend itself.

It is well known that Gutenberg's printing press in the late 1400's was seen as a risk to the authority of Church and State and could lead to creation, uncensored distribution and consumption of libidinous, frivolous and privileged content and even to intellectual laziness. Ditto for newspapers, radio, television, fixed and mobile phones, the internet, file sharing… all the way to our 21st century.

Interesting to note however that even the most repressive regimes seem to have utmost difficulties putting a lid on information flow despite centuries of trying.

Blame it on opiates! Some recent findings by the neuroscientist Irving Biederman show that our compulsive use our Blackberry's is due to opiates which aggregate in our cortex and provide instant gratification to our insatiable hunger for information. We get a high when new insights but lower level of opiates are released for information we already have. Hyperconnectivity and hyperinformation unstoppable?

Widespread information induced laziness and stupidity? Maybe traceable to a lack of infosterone? Undoubtedly a market for a future blockbuster drug.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these articles are solely those of the author and are not in any way attributable to nor reflect any existing or planned official policy or position of his employer in respect thereto.

By Yves Poppe, Director, Business Development IP Strategy at Tata Communications – (Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these articles are solely those of the author and are not in any way attributable to nor reflect any existing or planned official policy or position of his employer in respect thereto.) Visit Page
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