Pancake People

About his current, and possibly last, play, The Gods Are Pounding My Head, a.k.a. Lumberjack Messiah, Richard Foreman says, “…I see within us all (myself included) the replacement of complex inner density with a new kind of self-evolving under the pressure of information overload and the technology of the “instantly available.” A new self that needs to contain less and less of an inner repertory of dense cultural inheritance—as we all become “pancake people” – spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button.” Is this a stunning indictment of the power of the Internet, or a herald of a new kind of human (?) being developing?

At The Edge Reality Club big thinkers George Dyson, Kevin Kelly, and Jaron Lanier respond to Richard Foreman questions, including “Can computers achieve everything the human mind can achieve?” They provide intersting views of the history of computing and what might be coming. What concerned me is that no one even mildly refuted the “Pancake People” phenomenon or offered a solution to a problem that I doubt I’m the only one perceiving.

I don’t want to be a pancake person! Don’t get me wrong, I love being connected and having information resources literally at the tips of my fingers, if not my tongue. I do not, however, want to lose that “dense cultural inheritance” that encompasses my individuality and any expertise I may have acquired. At the risk of “Luddite!” accusations being hurled in my direction, I don’t think I want the future these people envision if I must lose myself.

Hurl your accusations or support at Georganna at Writer’s Edge.