Everything Else

Feeding the beast

We feed the internet a lot of information, which begs the question: are we logging on to the internet, or is the weblogging on to us? 

The real and the virtual are gradually assimilating. Ones and zeros are bridging the cyber divide and exploring the molecular world. And as the web gets its bearings in my world, my own global repositioning
has begun.

We created this giant network of computers and installed trillions of lines of code so it would work for us, entertain us, and inform us. But what has happened? That same code is providing a global super-cortex amassing far more intel than we are getting back from it. ‘It’, in cahoots with its equally non-biological corporate entity agents, has enticed an entire generation of the world’s most brilliant minds to work for It, building tools such as Google Analytics, Insights, and Earth, so that It can absorb everything about the real world.

‘I have … purchased as many devices as I can to get myself hi-def, hi-fi, widescreen access to cyberspace, without realizing just how hi-def the internet is experiencing me’

Each of our keystrokes and mouse clicks gives It more knowledge. It not only knows our thoughts and desires, which we happily (or foolishly) divulge, but It increasingly knows where we are (thank you, GPS) and is gathering, with the help of an army of nerdy data-uploaders, a stupendous amount of insight about everything that we are doing on – and to – this planet.

Does It have a plan? What is It thinking? I know you’re saying: “Don’t be ridiculous, It is not thinking anything, It is not alive, It is the internet.” Well, It is equally as complex as your brain and you’re alive, right?

I’ve been entranced by the web since its beginnings. I have gleefully purchased as many devices as I can to get myself hi-def, hi-fi, widescreen access to cyberspace, without realizing just how hi-def the internet is experiencing me.

After two decades, I’m still accessing It through a typewriter, a mouse, and a barely adequate 2D screen. It, on the other hand, is accessing my molecular world using nearly two billion super-computers (our brains), wired up with mega-HD stereo cameras (our eyes), holophonic stereo microphones (our ears), smell-o-rama and taste-o-Matic nano-tech chemical receptor nodes, and a two square meter touch-sensitive control panel, with a few built-in ultra-sensitive regions.

I am a walking, talking input device and the web is using me to fill Its dreams and memories.
Perhaps this is meant to be symbiosis. If so, I’m not getting my fair share. If It is symbiotic (sym-biotech-tic? Ouch!), here’s what I ought to do: keep feeding the beast as I have been AND start sucking out and using as much of that data as I can for the benefit of humanity.

Trending: GPS games for fun and profit. Geo-tagged data mapping to reduce crime, disease, ecological damage, and waste. Scoping and analyzing geospatial data for business opportunities. Planting seeds on Google Earth and watching them grow in my neighborhood. Doing it all on my iPod/iPad/iPhone/Kindle/NoteBook/Nexus.

I’m still keeping my old website. In fact, I’ll make a few more, because you, dear reader, are still chained to your desk most of the time. But now I’m repositioning my thinking – and my body – where the wind blows, the sun shines and I’ve got good mobile bandwidth. #


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