Derrick De Kerckhove

Understanding Networks Publication date : October 1, 2000

The advent of the Internet is a technological advance comparable to the invention of the printing press. It will affect society and individuals with such far-reaching consequences that we cannot yet imagine all of them, although we are beginning to see the general aspect of some in such fields as business, politics, education and the media.
What will happen when all the computers in the world are connected by a high-speed world-wide network? What will happen when this network reaches a state of critical mass, as artificial intelligences are known to do? And what will happen when the sum total of all the intelligence contained within the network surpasses the possibility of each individual taken separately? Is “connective intelligence” the next phase in human evolution? What can be expected from this new type of network intelligence?
Like McLuhan before him, Derrick De Kerckhove explores all areas of expression, with special emphasis on interactivity, hypertext links and connectivity. In the process, he reveals the foundations underlying our new ways of living and thinking.

Derrick De Kerckhove teaches at the University of Toronto and directs the university’s McLuhan Program on Culture and Technology.