11:00 A.M., Oakland University, Michigan
“We don’t actually have wires sticking out of our heads,” I say, “but if you have an iPhone in your pocket and a laptop on your bag you’re pretty close. You’ve already delegated your memory to Google and Wikipedia; Facebook is there to remind you who your friends are.”
I have a bad habit. Whatever I happen to be reading influences me to a degree that is often, in retrospect, embarrassing or ridiculous. You might say I’m a slave to what I’m reading. And that may explain why I’m here with a group of undergraduates discussing whether or not we are, in fact, already cyborgs.
While these are my ideas (sort of), they are more honestly a take on Kevin Kelly’s new book What Technology Wants. I’m obsessed. He has got me talking about weird tech-philosophy stuff, such as whether we are cyborgs (see above) or whether it’s a good idea to quit technology altogether and go live in the wild.
I’m talking to undergraduates because my first book, coauthored with Jack Goldsmith, was selected to be read, campus-wide, by Oakland University in Michigan. For their part, the undergraduates seem to accept the idea that we are already more machine than man without much resistance, proving again that it is hard to shock the young. Perhaps to them, Darth Vadar had roughly the right idea.
7:00 P.M., Ann Arbor, Michigan
I hit up Twitter, where I find that I have said something insane about someone named Dorothy:
superwuster DOROTHY you don’t know shit about SHIT so fuck you.
Someone must have hacked my Twitter account. It is a bit of a surprise to see things written in my name that don’t fully reflect what I think. On the other hand, that was also the experience of rereading my first book.
A little later I notice that in addition to a hacker, I have a Twitter hater, apparently one of the students forced to read my book for school. He writes:
julianmgsantos Fuck you tim wu #crazyrhyming
julianmgsantos #whatreallycheesesme tim wu and dumb bitches
To his credit: At least Mr. Julianmgsantos appears to be enjoying Twitter. Most everyone else views it as a duty, like washing the digital dishes. Nonetheless, my appearance at a student Q & A yesterday prompted a reappraisal:
julianmgsantos Not gonna lie i hated tim wu. Until he showed up to this Q&A fried as hell. Im actually gonna read his book now
Kelly gets credit for that change in heart.