A Not So Obvious Point About the Obvious.
What you are looking at is not what you think it is.
It is a galaxy being born. A billion trillion planets in a single dot.
It is a billion trillion neurons connecting themselves together in a growing human brain.
A billion trillion spores of bacteria replicating themselves in a petri dish.
In “reality”, what you are actually looking at is the first visual representation of the entire internet from 1997 until today made by artist
The mapped interfacing of all digital information ever to exist online, connected to each other. Each new “thought” or “idea” or “line of code” giving rise to its own progeny and so on. It’s electric grids and processing plants and voting machines. It’s health records and tax files and DMV databases. It’s every text you have ever sent and every instagram you have ever liked and every Netflix show you have ever watched.
It is the digital compression of humanity; our collective hard-drive. Ironically stripped of everything that actually makes us human.
2 points worth making.
- How much the mechanics and properties of digital growth, 1’s and 0’s interfacing with each other at scale, mirror the properties of biological life. The same scaling frequencies. The same growth patterns. Fibonacci and sacred geometry and all the rest. The synchronicity of the “natural” world reaching deep into the synthetic one we are building for ourselves. There is solace in this. Comfort in knowing mother nature still may be steering the ship.
- While that may be reassuring, it is also true we are looking at an alien life form. A life form we don’t quite understand but are deeply embedded inside of. Or don’t understand rather precisely BECAUSE we are deeply embedded inside of it. Ants unable to see their entire colony from outside of itself. And so while mother nature may be in control of this alien life form we humans very much are not. We live along side of it, inside of it, with it. But definitely not above it. It is our new membrane. And it is growing around us faster than we can keep track of.
I say this only because I am constantly in awe of how slippery and non-obvious this fact is. How constantly we underestimate the growing capacity of this alien membrane. Dictators and Authoritarians thinking they can control it. Liberal Democracies thinking they can harness it. Tech companies thinking they can shape it. And each of us individually figuring out what we want our relationship to be to this thing. As if we really had a choice in long run. As if we could have opted out of Gutenberg. All of us are suffering to some degree from the same delusion… a failure to see the tidal wave for how monstrous it really is.
So my prediction is this: Whatever you think the Internet is… multiply it by a thousand. And then again by a billion. And then again by 47. And even then you will still come up short.
The tidal wave is already here. We are all underwater creatures now. Growing gills and learning how to swim are all that matters now.