(11 October 1999, Caffé Trieste. 1300 block of Grant St. San Francisco, CA.)
I keep babbling at Pheel, Rancid_Pickle, and everyone else that the internet is somehow alive. That it possesses some form of consciousness that either we cannot or choose not to recognize. Inherent to this theory is the assumption that I am somehow crazy, or at least a touch deviant for coming up with (Compiling perhaps?) this whole idea in the first place. For starters, I probably am but that whole argument is neither here nor there.
In order for the net to be alive a few things have to happen. Number one it has to be able to produce offspring, which in a way it does through the continuing cycle of creation and storage that we impart through use. Probably not the best of places to start. Number two; it must consume energy, which it obviously does. Third, it has to be able to interact with it's environment. To a degree, the net already does this via RIP/ARP and the continual plethora of automatic processes that it goes through in terms of self-maintenance tasks. I suppose that the whole theory isn't so much a discovery (far too pretentious a word,) but more of an expansion on existing religious ideologies. At first glance this is all it is.
Is the internet god? From a hacker's perspective I would assume so since no other body or object is more revered and respected than the machines providing more of a definition of reality than anything else. Considering that as of late the whole idea of my being a hacker in the classical sense I suppose then at least this holds true for me and that the machines are god. However the workings and mechanics of my own mind make me a minority (having only one member,) and I therefore cannot speak for anyone else. Which pretty much runs things back to the beginning again. Now I'm having cyclic arguments with myself. This is fucking fantastic.
There is a giant schism between what I perceive myself as and what everyone else does. I cannot explain nor simply rationalize the workings of who and what I am to someone in the space of an essay. I cannot sit down with someone for twenty minutes and blather away at them and expect to walk away leaving them with an accurate portrait of the experiences I have had that have led me to the conclusions I have drawn. The obsession with hardware ultimately has something to do with where I am today. Perhaps owning six computers and no television set is a wee bit on the bizarre side, but then again most people don't teach themselves TCP/IP and cryptography fundamentals for the fuck of it. I can explain IP subnets without too much effort on my own part, but I still can't make decent Alfredo from scratch. Therefore I am not a cook. I guess the belief that the net is a form of god, with networking manuals a go-go as biblical texts rises from that situation. There is a good chance that all of this stems from a base need for some form of self-actualization, a completion of soul that most never even seem to start looking for at any point in their lives. I count myself (despite the tone here,) no better than anyone else. Just a rare variation of the typical human produced by some Darwin induced and personally forwarded need for evolution. (Tangent: do not sit for an extended period of time after climbing to Coit tower from Pier 39. The lactic acid build up is a bitch, I tell you.)
Then am I the dead end of an evolutionary tangent of my own making? Did my own father's predilection toward ripping the universe apart bit by bit translate itself into my desire to understand the 'why' behind the scream of electrons initiated with each keystroke? The roar of the data screaming through the myriad connections made in a billion places all over the world without end. Is it possible that Lain is right and the barrier between this world and the networks is blurring? Both Ghost in the Shell and Lain deal with this merger in a way. Kusinagi's merge with the entity 2501 thus becoming "neither the woman known as the Major or the program known as the Puppetmaster" serves as a vehicle slamming the two worlds together in that case. With each passing day we as a society wire ourselves a little closer to the societies in Ghost, Bladerunner, Hardware, Holy Fire and Huxley's Brave New World. Awareness of such situations as posed in the latter definitely plays a part in such an outcome actually becoming a reality at some point. Perhaps the awareness of a developing problem thereby preventing anything from happening, and the whole problem with humanity naturally having a streak of anarchist living deep in the recesses of consciousness. I suppose that even the Pope has from time to time wanted to run in circles clucking like a chicken. Religious conventions being what they are and requiring what they do, such an event actually happening is extremely unlikely.
Would people actually resist such controls being placed on their lives or would they simply remit? Change is pervasive enough in our society but the advent and subsequent implementation of such Draconian and Orwellian control go completely unopposed? Such things surely do not happen overnight, but is/would the slide toward that manner of reality be so subtle as to go completely unnoticed? Limitations on personal freedoms occur regularly but the truly restrictive often are immediately challenged and overruled. A veritable rabble of organizations wait at the ready to protest anything anyone does to halt or impinge on anyone's ability to do damn near anything. From hurtling oneself off of thousand foot radio towers in the dead of night to not putting enough of one ethnicity or another in a television show, these people are there. They ceaselessly scour every piece of legislation on the planet for actual or perceived infringements on their rights. Both a good thing and a bad thing at the same time that organizations like the ACLU and NAACP piss and moan about anything and everything are they actually helping? I suppose they do but yet everything that they 'accomplish' leads us closer to 1984 and Brave New World by providing more 'good for society' restrictions on what we can and cannot do.
During the Second World War everyone, their brothers and their allies bombed civilian cities into smoking rubble, however this is totally unacceptable by the standards of today. With the increase of social sensitivity comes with it a slew of responsibilities that a good number of people fail to sufficiently comprehend or accept as some critical part of membership in that society. Actualizing the needs of the people into behavioral requirements is a difficult task to undertake under any circumstances. Figuring out the mean average of what will to the most good for the most people I think would be the beginning and certainly the least simple part. For them to attach their own moral systems to such is at a bare minimum unforgivable, and at a maximum tantamount to succumbing to fascism. In the end there is no happy medium between the extremes of legislation and government vs. personal freedom, and we are damned to witness endless inane years (Nonetheless absolutely hilarious at times.) of political squabble. Blah, blah, blah and I dribble off into another thoroughly pointless quest to reengineer reality. Perhaps reverse engineer in order to reassemble it more to my liking.
In a way this is the desire of people on the planet to a small extent, to remake the world in their own image. To force the chaos and entropy to cow to each of our infinitely fantastic, (wise too, not to forget that,) desires for peace and tranquility. High humor, (or at least cynicism and satire,) grace the pages today. Where was I before anyway? Oh yes, the internet being alive and so forth. Have to wait a bit on that, the thought left me and it is time to smoke before wandering off.
Talk to yourself or read more of Phase Maintenance