But what about the SOUP!?

Tracking the developments in communications technology through this week’s lecture and texts has been interesting, but most interesting to me have been the developments in human response towards this technology.

We see in A Short History of the Internet Bruce Sterling’s excited response to the beginning of web culture. Everything was so shiny and new to him that you can more or less pick out quotes from the article and put them straight onto any internet themed meme and they’ll work!

Technologically Impaired Duck


First Day on the Internet Kid


Grandma Finds the Internet


Sterling is not only enthusiastic himself, but also anticipates enthusiasm from others, citing at the end of his piece ways for readers to get involved in the exciting and growing cyberculture of the 90s. This response is a marked difference from that of the early 20th century we saw cited in the lecture, in which people were eager to use this new speedy technology, but dubious of how exactly it worked (“Why haven’t you sent the message? Why is my soup still here?”). It’s even further still from the responses of earlier society, the society which feared the consequences of dabbling with electricity (see: Frankenstein), suspected that gramophones would enable communication with the dead, and deemed leaps in technological discovery as akin to the supernatural.

It seems almost as if the more communications technology grows to a resemblance of humanness, carrying messages across the globe like our nervous system does through our bodies, the more people are able to integrate themselves eagerly into that system.

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4 thoughts on “But what about the SOUP!?

  1. I think it is natural for humanity to be scared of new technology, and that is an unfortunate side effect of dealing with human beings. But hopefully we appear to be getting more comfortable with forward progress and there is less and less factions of people opposed to new ideas and advancing technology and hopefully one day soon we will see Skynet and the fall of humanity, but until then I will stick with the memes and readings.

  2. That title attracted my attention immediately and the post you wrote accompanying it did not disappoint! I love the way you incorporated the reading material into your memes, it made them even more relevant and humorous! I wonder if someone were to write a similar piece of writing predicting the future of the internet again what it will foresee.. I think you created an engaging and informative post, well done!

  3. The analogy that Ted brought up in the lecture that technology has turned the world in to a “Body” or nervous system is definitely spot on. As technology has progressed so has the nervous system, becoming more responsive and efficient.
    The idea of putting quotes from the text onto already well known memes is great and actually works quite well!
    I thought it was interesting, if not hilarious how Sterling thought that we would soon have the internet on our wrists… He was not wrong! Great post!

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