“This future sucks. I hate archiving and tagging everything.”
I read that on twitter tonight (by the hilarious royb0t), so I started writing about why I liked that one so much.
That’s really awesome, actually. We thought the future would have everything automatically indexed as it came along – real time monitoring of all of the world’s goods and services and personalities and buying preferances – all of humanity encoded on one big computer called the itnernet, which, in a sense, is an artificial intelligence. I mean, look at fucking Anonymous and 4-chan. It can so easily devolve into a mob mentality, but one that is slightly more intelligent. There are people pulling strings all over the world in this online stage, which is really just humanity’s own fascination with itself. I mean the internet can dig out every single person’s deepest, darkest secrets and make sure that EVERYONE knows about them. Weiner taking pictures of a weiner? That’s front page news.
People don’t know how to grapple with the implications of this. Everything you do is fodder for the swift, harsh judgement of the artificial intelligence of humanity. The values espoused on the internet are the lowest common denominator, but not in a bad way, but in that they relfect the true haertbeat of humanity. All actions are informed by all sides and debate is undertaken over who is right. How is that not the act of an id, an ego and a superego?
In any case, while all this is happening – we all want to be a part of this higher being – we’re opened up to the entire world of human history and experience. Anything you could possibly want to indulge in is available. Answers are available at the click of a button.
What kind of society does that breed, you ask? Well, I’ll there will be a new bell curve. On the one side there are the people that rely entirely on the iternet as the source of their knowledge. They will be the folks who lack creativity. They don’t bother to learn things themselves – just enough to get by. And then there will be the people who use it voraciously – gobbling up every snippet of information they can gather and constantly seeking, seeking, seeking. The day is filled with gleeful binges of info-snacking, flitting from obsession to obsession, each changing by the minute, soaking it up, storing it away with an almost ominscient precociousness, thinking that you’re becoming more and more intelligent, able to see more and more things, and that, in fact, you are existing in all of the time that has since passed. And you become humble, because you know there is so much you’ll never understsand. But that doesn’t daunt you, so long as you know the questions that need to be asked.
Because you know that with every sentence you read, you get a little more of the piece of the puzzle.
And because you know that if you run into anything you don’t understand, you can always go become the expert in it in two hours.
But both types want to be a part of it. That is undeniable. So they need to make their personality known and become involved in some way in the lives of others, to infect the datacloud not in one small geographical location, but people from all over the earth. And how they do that is by letting other people in by posting about themselves, and pursuing their own loves and connections are made – long range synapses of adaptive behaviors. Because the beautiful part is that you can be anyone you want to be on the internet. And I’m not talking about lying about your gender or your age. I’m talking about you can be a truer person to yourself than you’d ever care to be in front of a being with a long-term memory (the internet has a very short term memory, but is capable of astounding feats of mental clarity when it comes to hindsight).
And so we upload, and tag and rearrange and crosspost and bleed the very marrow from your funny bone online so that people can maintain that viasge for you. It doesn’t matter if you can’t muster the same wit and whimsey when you’re not online. You’re leading two lives, and that’s one more than many people have.
So the simple statement, “the future sucks. I hate archiving and tagging everything,” becomes beautiful it its impllication.
We’ve seen this coming. Asimov told us it would be so. And now we’re here.
And we thought it was going to be milk and honey (and then blood and lilys and spring and fireworks). And we’re disappointed. But amusingly so.
Where is my flying car indeed.
Anyway, I’ll probably delete this in the morning upon a re-read when I’m less sleep-addled (and high on silly music-making).
I should hear back about Viable Paradise tomorrow or the next day. And my first commissioned song is nearly complete and ready for mocking. Tomorrow’s the end of the quarter and spirits are high at work. And I’ve got a story out in circulation and another few brewing. And a close friend is having a birthday this weekend. And I can’t possibly imagine a moment more perfect and full of anticipation as right now.