Monday, April 7, 2008

On Internet . . . Disembodied "Life"

For those of us who believe that any significant part of life can be fulfilled through an Internet-ridden existence and experience, Hubert Dreyfus' book On the Internet (2001) may be a necessary remedy and a good wake-up call.

Yes, he is the philosopher who shook the AI world by publishing his What Computers Can't Do (1972), updating it with What Computers Still Can't Do (1997).

I studied with Dreyfus for about two years, mostly focusing on philosophy of AI and a bit on Heidegger. This was during the seven years I spent studying Logic and Methodology of Science at Berkeley. It was a pleasant surprise to see his On the Internet come out. With about one hundred pages of text, it is a very tight extension of his philosophical analysis to the world of Internet.