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Internet as Integrating Technology


May 28, 2001

  • Technology is the expression of a mental formula of work in matter in the form of a fashioned tool.
  • The birth of a technology in the mind of an engineer is indicative of social maturity of scientific knowledge employed in work.
  • This social knowledge creates non-scientific working individuals tuned to executing that technology on the floor of the factory. They are known as technicians.
  • The technicians of the 17th century are scientists of the 21st century by the advance in technological and scientific culture.
  • The commerce of the different localities rises to technological opportunities and begins to serve the needs of the new technology by producing the processed raw materials and catering  it to the public.
  • Technology emerges successfully, creating the human, social, commercial atmosphere needed for it. This is technological maturity of the society.
  • Technological maturity of the society implies the advancement in the birth of appropriate organisations in the society in various fields, along with social and individual culture.
  • At any given period, we see the newly emerging technologies trying to integrate with the existing social organisations, social culture, and social productivity, first overcoming the opposition of the society to its advent.
  • From that moment, the new technology embarks on a mission of gradually widening its integration in two ways: 1) horizontally in the society with its organisations and culture, and 2) vertically with the inner capacities of the individual in compelling him to fashion new attitudes and new motives suitable to the occasion and express them as new personal strategies.
  • This is a complex process of social growth constantly witnessed in the society, visible at times of the emergence of advanced new technologies.
  • Not only with technologies, but with every new capacity acquired by the society, such as language, this change is witnessed.
  • Thus, technology at any given time is the outer symbol of man's inner integrality vertically in the planes of his being and horizontally in its outer social spread.
  • All human capacities inside are symbols - psychological symbols - of all human activities outside.
  • The phenomenon we speak of about the Internet is experienced by the society each time a new technology arises, such as car, phone, radio, printing, writing, cooking, dressing, manufacturing, machinery, cultivation, education, transport, communication, personal computers.
  • A new phenomenon in the society is NOT an excrescence, but a natural integral growth from all its parts and their interactions. Once it has emerged as a new phenomenon - technology, capacity, belief, organisation, religion, etc. - it at once tries to further integrate itself with every sector and segment of the society.
  • This new growth or new and further integration is the social growth opening its avenues of prosperity to all sections collectively and individually.
  • To avail of these emerging opportunities, the collective as well as the individual develop their existing organisations and personal character. New social organisations come into quick existence or new extensions of the existing organisations take place. Individuals exhibit new capacities or higher levels of old capacities.
  • Human intelligence, attitudes, and motives change for the better individually and collectively, e.g. competition gives place to cooperation, violent quarrels become negotiated settlements.
  • Frankness, secretive behaviour, trust, anger, jealousy, levels of understanding the other man's point of view undergo changes. In a monarchy, orders are passed at the level of the king. The whole society behaves authoritatively when they change to democracy, parliamentary behaviour changes to understanding the viewpoint of the opposition. All the balancing phrases of English issue out of the birth of democracy and its ways accepted by the society.
  •  It is possible for us to draw up a time chart of social progress with a dozen dimensions. It will carry these transitions graphically. E.g. Growth of the following can be traced between the two ends:

1. Organisation

2. Truth speaking

3. Personal beliefs

4. Religious worship

5. Skills

6. Physical security

7. Human tolerance and temperament

8. Levels of intelligence

9. Transport

10. Communication

11. Medical cure

12. Collective as well as individual FREEDOM.

  • In fact, to be meaningful, it has to be comprehensive of all levels of human existence, almost an encyclopaedia in scales.
  • Such a study will reveal to each nation the magnitude of progress it has unconsciously made in several sectors and strikingly reveal the enormous scope of progress within the present context.
  • For example, if this is done to Internet, it will at once place the Internet on a par to Printing 700 years ago, i.e. 100 years after its invention, thus revealing the enormous scope, maybe infinite scope, of immediate progress.
  • For planners in the governments, for companies that are trying to expand, for aspiring families for social upward movement, a new lease of life will be given.
  • For the Individual, especially in the field of computer, it will reveal that his wildest aspirations will be dwarfed by what is offered to him.
  • For one who becomes conscious of this situation, all life appears to be a life of Luck.
  • The use of maps came into existence a few centuries ago in the West at the highest levels and fully spread to all levels a hundred years ago. It is said a Londoner does not go out with that map.
  • In India, city maps are not known. Today you will see the phenomenon of people stopping on the road to inquire about the way to their destination. Maps of all descriptions are a way of life in the West. It is one measure of the gap in prosperity between the West and East.
  • The advent of Internet has made the availability of information easy and quick beyond comparison.
  • As directories and maps have played a great role in the progress of Western industry and Western life, the advent of Internet now allows the compilation of fresh directories and fresh "maps" for nearly all fields of human activities.
  • The prevalence and absence of superstitions of diverse nature is in direct proportion to the facts available.
  • Facts are valuable but not usable until they are organised into useful information.
  • This information is the raw material for the directories and maps I speak of.
  • Agricultural productivity, based on the analysis of the soil and application of micronutrients, has been enhanced about five times in California which is at the higher end of that productivity.
  • Imagine the use of software that coordinates the soil composition, prevalent micronutrients and productivity for the farmer whose productivity is low.

- For the planners, universities and farmers, it is a boon.

- For the software engineer, it is a career out of the ordinary.

  • Customer information service has found a welcome among customers and retailers in more than one way.
  • Can we not reduce the entire management expertise now available to directories or ‘maps' that would guide the managers of big corporations and entrepreneurs of small companies? Which field will not lend itself for this purpose?
  • Of the hundred areas, when decision-making is reduced to an infallible process and offered as a software, it will find great favour in the market.
  • Romance is an age-old topic. People quickly outgrow romantic illusions. At its altar millions of marriages were sacrificed. It exists at the level of physical need, physical attachment, emotions of the body, vital attractions, vital heroism to live for another, mental ideas of poetry, love, idealism, etc. Whether there is any precise definition of Romance that can stand the test of the experiences of the ages, I do not know.
  • But one is possible. It is not only possible but all of its shades on either side can be documents and conclusions drawn from it. Though it has always been possible to compile such a directory, the Internet makes such a composition eminently possible.
  • Of course, it will be a document more of marriage than of Romance. The information, inference, and guidance of such a directory, especially when it is comprehensive, are invaluable.
  • There is no walk of life which cannot be well served by such a directory. Mankind or humankind will take a great step forward if every field is fully served by such directories or ‘maps.'
  • Recently an eminent Dutchman said that if he could find a formula for domestic happiness, he might even abandon the project of discovering the formula of the universe.
  • Compilation of such a directory on historical principles of human progress will reveal the formula readily. No one will doubt its value. Such a directory will reveal that what we now consider to be a mystery and tangle is after all the result of having our observations as impressions instead of facts.  Impressions replaced by facts will remove age-old mental infirmities. We no longer need suffer the present superstitions. Domestic happiness will revel itself as a formula.
  • Human progress is measured on various counts or scales.
  • Human worth is in proportion to the human freedom granted to him by his collectivity.
  • Freedom is the noblest measure of human progress. Even happiness can only be put as the second best.
  • Every advance of any type brings in its own definition of freedom.
  • Every technology advances the scope of individual freedom
  • For the slightest crime, man lost his hand or even head at one time.
  • Freedom is of many descriptions. One of them is freedom to secure information.  The Internet is offering information as no other channel ever gave.
  • Often new technologies are made possible by new raw material.
  • Thinkers should evaluate the Internet as a technology that emerges now and assess its role in social evolution.
  • Such evaluation issues from a perspective.
  • Social perspective that leads one to evaluate social instruments must understand social evolution.
  • The world is certainly in need of a Theory of how the society has so far evolved and why.
  • Such a theory may include several facets or maybe all facets must be included. We can consider one such approach.

- Man's knowledge that the earth is flat comes from observation.

- Newton's Law of motion issues out of a mathematical intuition of mind.

- To the senses, the earth goes around the sun. To one in universal consciousness, the sun goes around the earth. When human consciousness touches universal consciousness in rare moments, one gets the glimpse of that truth which his mathematical knowledge labours to prove.

- Seeing electricity in the thunder, having that sense which feels it in the air, systematic scientific thinking leads one to its discovery.

- The laws of physics that express as elevation in the sky reveal to an observer who sees the possible relation to the birds' natural flying and man's artificial flying.

- Some medicines were discovered by observing animals that are unaffected during the spread of epidemics.

- Human observation can also see the symbols in life. Observation of symbolism in life led to the discovery of writing.

- Money as an exchange medium was created out of the creativity of mind.

  • Human intelligence, faculties of the mind can be arranged in some gradation or some sequence and each stage of civilisation can be attributed to that. That offers us a scale.
  • Progress of civilisation has been understood as progress for greater comfort. It is one result of his faculties integrating with the possibilities of the environment.

Internet as the Instrument of Subtle Knowledge:

  • Life is not fully gross, physical and material. There is always a subtle part to it that is invisible. Of course, there is another causal part of it that cannot be so easily felt or shown to another. What is here called subtle is always described as higher skill. Anyway, a work can be split into many minute parts and all those can be trained. When all possible training is imparted and learned, there remains something untaught and unlearned. We call it skill that comes by experience. It is that part which is called here subtle. The gross part is teachable, the subtle part comes from long experience, to those it comes, not to all.
  • We call that faculty insight, intuition, resourcefulness, knack or even luck. That subtle part is also teachable if not to all, maybe for the majority, sometimes to all. It comes from viewing the part from the whole. Long experience often gives to doctors, teachers, generals, lawyers, and leaders the touch of the WHOLE. The part seen against it gives the insight. All solutions in Sherlock Holmes stories answer to this description. Subtlety is to know the part not as a mere part all by itself but as a part of the whole.
  • Internet now makes available to a patient a vast knowledge, which only experienced doctors possess. Internet gives the patient the knowledge of a disease which often patients do not share with their doctors. In certain minor diseases which the doctor rarely comes across, the patient can have a far greater information than his doctor from the Internet.
  • Imagine the clients having as much knowledge as the professional has. A doctor may feel his patients are doctors.
  • The Internet by giving vast stores of information to a client offers the possibility of his having subtle knowledge, which only exceptional professionals are endowed with.
  • After about 2000 years of warfare - physical prowess settling legal or even moral claims - disarmament brings the battlefield to the negotiating table. That is the distance in time humanity takes to move from the physical plane of fighting to the subtle plane of negotiating.
  • The Internet throws open that possibility to all sections of humanity in all their concerns.
  • If anything, it will have a far, far greater impact on human functioning than universal education did at the turn of the 20th century.
  • Seeing Internet in the perspective of the past that developed it and the future it may develop for the society, one has the best of chances to understand its role as an organisation which for the first time in history became an institution without passing through the phase of being an organisation.
  • Gold, diamond, oil, etc., made men madly rush to them seeking wealth. Internet rushes to men to make them abundantly wealthy to the extent of disregarding wealth in favour of higher social or human values.
  • It is a knowledge of the Theory of Social Evolution that can make one fully appreciate the value of this invisible institution offering subtle knowledge.     

story | by Dr. Radut