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A Prophetic Vision of Our Utopian Environmental Future

November 16, 2011

By Matt Artz

At its core, technology extends human abilities.  We now live in a new era where technology is redefining man’s relationship with the environment.  Perhaps nowhere was this more eloquently predicted than in Richard Brautigan’s 1967 poem “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace,” where he paints a vivid picture of a future where nature and technology are inextricably linked in a mutually beneficial relationship.

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.

I like to think
(right now please!)
of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and electronics
where deer stroll peacefully
past computers
as if they were flowers
with spinning blossoms.

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.

Richard Brautigan

And I’ll leave you with this:

“The best symbiosis of man and computer is where a program learns from humans but (also) notices things they would not.”

Tim O’Reilly

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