/ BOOKS / DESIGNS - 2015
My new book: Self as Computer, is available on Amazon ($ 25).
[ 400 pages, 8*10 inch paperback, 1000 illustrations. ISBN: 1499171609 ]
Visions and Dreams of Technopia
In Self as Computer, Alan Radley looks at the computer not as a tool, or as a bicycle-for-the-mind, but simply as self. He argues that humans are becoming so enmeshed with the computer, in terms of how we think, act and communicate; that soon it may no longer be possible to identify where the self ends, and the computer begins, and vice-versa. Predicted by some, are marvellous benefits for technology; in terms of enhancements to our social, creative and personal lives.
But already clear, is that not all of the associated problems lie in the realm of speculation. One example, is that the Internet is moving ever further away from the free and open system as foreseen by its original designers; whereby citizens are routinely censored, hacked and/or spied upon. Other questions arise; such as who builds today’s systems, and in what sense(s) are they useful, humane or democratic?
Explored are human-friendly designs for the computers of tomorrow, whereby the wishes, plans and actions of society may be aligned to benefit all.
Hyper-Media / Hyper-Thoughts
Augmented / Virtual Realities
Cyborgs, Robots and Automata
Surveillance / Hacking / Privacy
Artificial / Simulated Intelligence
Natural + Machine-Implanted Thoughts
World-Brain + Freedom of Thought / Action
3D User Interfaces / Wearables + Smart-Things
Mechanised-Dystopia / Technopia + Techno-rights
Ethical, Moral and Spiritual dimension(s) of Computers
Self-as-Computer (400 pages) is available from Amazon; and has 1000 illustrations.
REVIEWS for Self as Computer
Review by Dr Kim Veltman
This is a bold and important book. It is a new attempt to develop the idea of a World Brain: to offer theoretical rationales, practical criteria and guidelines for the creation of a Universal Library entailing nothing less than a reorganisation of all knowledge. Traditional visions (The Library of Babel, The Universal Library) were mainly updated versions of the Library of Alexandria. Radley’s vision is about much more: the creation of contextualised ideas, circuits of thoughts. Outlined are techno- rights, which make visible the thoughts, opinions, insights of everyman, and thus transform the vision of freedom of thought as outlined in the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. The utilitarian goal is a new Internet: a technopia that will benefit the whole of humanity, rather than specific companies, interest groups and individuals.
This is not, as its title could suggest, simply another techno-optimist book by a scientist promising that computers offer a simple panacea to everything. On the contrary, it traces how early visions of networked knowledge (e.g. Otlet, Engelbart, Nelson) were narrowed into an Internet and World Wide Web which, although popular, preclude a systematic access to thoughts, ideas, knowledge as foreseen in this vision. It is often said: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This book explores an implicit corollary. If the system has too many broken links, then we need to start again from scratch and build a new system. This entails creating a new mechanical device. But the larger vision is that this device will improve human thinking methods.
Part of the narrowing that has occurred in the past half century has been driven by the computer science community, especially the AI faction, whose claims concerning artificial intelligence, machine thinking, autonomous computing, continue to inspire visions of mechanical intelligence competing with and/or replacing human intelligence (transhumanism, post-humanism, cf. the predicted Singularity). Radley offers a radically different vision where man remains the master and computers are the tools, servants of man-made visions. To establish this, three chapters are devoted to the self, ideas and thinking, offering a telescoped history of Western philosophy from Plato and Aristotle to the present. Two chapters outline the limitations of current computers and machines. Further chapters outline emerging potentials of user interfaces, cyberspace, virtual reality and robots.
The central vision is of a World Brain, with circuits of thoughts leading to a city of thoughts and ultimately technopia. The author acknowledges that these are linked with dreams of utopia, but is also careful to outline competing dystopian visions. The margins are lined with c. 1,000 illustrations, which offer a visual account of these utopian and dystopian possibilities: ranging from comic strip cartoons and historical diagrams to numerous illustrations of patented devices. It ends with a Universal Declaration of Human- Techno Rights, a Technopian Manifesto and 10 Commandments for humans to computers. The media are filled with articles about how computers are revolutionising the world. Radley’s book suggests that the real revolution has yet to begin. It catalogues numerous dangers, but ultimately it is a paean of hope in and for human freedom.
Kim H. Veltman, 2015.
Professor Kim Veltman is a member of the International Who's Who of Professionals. In 1996, he was awarded the International Capire Prize for a Creative Future in the area of science and art integration. In 1998, he received a Learning Partnership Award (Toronto) and a Prix des Initiatives from Université d’été de la Communication (Hourtin). In November 2009, he was awarded a Silver Order: “Service for the Arts”, International Academy of Culture and Art (Moscow). In January 2015, Kim was awarded a World Media and Library Leaders Lifetime Achievement Award by the Satija Research Foundation for Library and Information Sciences (University of Delhi); and for his work as a 'Thinker, Researcher, Media Expert, Webologist, Linguist, Anthropologist, Science Historian and Art Connoisseur' and for his 'Dedication to Knowledge Organisation and Outstanding Scholarship'.
Books authored by Dr Kim Veltman ...
 The Alphabets of Life (2014).
 Understanding New Media;Augmented Knowledge and Culture (2006).
 Leonardo da Vinci Studies I: Linear Perspective and the Visual Dimensions of Science and Art (1986).
 Leonardo's Method (1993).
 Frontiers in Conceptual Navigation for Cultural Heritage (1999).
You can read more about Kim's work here.
Keynote talk: Circuits of Thought, at the International Conference on Multimedia, Scientific Information and Visualization for Information Systems and Metrics. Andalucina, Malaga, January 28, 2015. [pdf]
/ BOOKS / DESIGNS - 2014
Keynote talk: Electric Men, at the International Conference on Information Architecture, Cloud & Security. Rome, July 28, 2014.