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Won't WearComps just barrage us with spam information and make us more slaves to the machine than we are already?

The heart of WearComp is the theme of humanistic intelligence, and the core of HI is the notion of personal empowerment.

To don a WearComp is to seize complete and absolute authority and control over our own digital space. A WearComp acts not only as a constant point of contact with cyberspace, but also as a constant filter to cyberspace. We can literally decide what we want to see and don't want to see. This doesn't seem to be the Orwellian/Borglike society some people fear; rather, individuals are empowered to take control over their digitial surroundings, and take control of their communications with others.

People are also concerned about industrial use WearComps in offices/factories turning people into cyborg slaves. Again, we think the central theme of personal empowerment deals well with this concern. When WearComps are worn 24/7, they really do become an extension of our mind and body. Using such things in commerce to control people would be like demanding that employees install a third arm, controlled by the company, in their chests. Who would permit such a thing? Who would dare ask? As long as users have complete autonomy over their bodies and their WearComps, then we don't think this is a problem either.

Complete autonomy is, however, a strong condition. In particular, it requires us to be free to understand and manipulate our WearComps however we choose; see Why should WearComps run Linux?


Adapted from James Fung's Some Thoughts and Observations on Humanistic Intelligence and Mediated Reality