Creativity in CyberSpace
CybernEthics Research, Southsea (UK)
Anyone who has used the InterNet will be aware that one of its main
characteristics is that it is inherently unreliable. Like all machines,
what we know of it (through experience) is that it goes wrong.
Apart from a "Sod's Law" element, it is clear that contributory
factors to the unreliability of the include its vast complexity, which
makes it, in Bremmermann's term, "transcomputable". In effect,
it cannot be reliable. Its behaviour must be unpredictable.
Another characteristic, at least at the moment, is its uncontrollability.
Because of its structure and complexity, and how it has grown, the InterNet
is currently beyond the control of any one body, or consortium of bodies.
This means that it is an environment for conversation rather than the giving
and taking of orders, where a conversation is a circular process between
at least two participants involving potential surprise in the response
of the other. In this case, the net itself can behave as a conversational
A final characteristic is that the InterNet is an environment for sharing
and co-operation. That this is so is demonstrated clearly by our obsession
with security. We would not worry about security if the InterNet were not
an environment for copying: and where copying is prevalent, sharing is
implicit. Active sharing requires co-operation. The InterNet is another
example of current technology that allows us to move beyond the currently
fashionable and deeply restrictive Thatcherite image of the world as already
constructed and as simply causal to an understanding and a way of operating
that is much more human.
The conditions-sharing and co-operation, unreliability, uncontrollability
and the operation of conversation, which lead to unpredictability-mean
that the InterNet is an environment that inherently encourages creativity.
The nature of this creativity, and how and why it should work, will be
discussed: especially the nature of this creativity applied in and to architecture
and the inhabitation of place and space to make events and occasions.