The Spiders from Mars

Connect-universum 2012
Author: Biliarsky S.


We have more friends and we meet them less. We have more music, but we sing less. We have more porn but less love. Meet the square life on the round Earth! I will share with you some thoughts and observations about the role of the individual as a molecule in the giant body of the Humanity that wraps the Earth in its net.

Topic of report: The Spiders from Mars

Remember the times when potable water was free and we used to pay for music? Well, we have a complete reversal of that situation now. There is a growing consensus that the World Wide Web is changing us and numerous researchers attempt to prove so with graphs, statistics and various studies. Here are some conclusions that may be derived from this supposition.

A Quantitative Survey

I present to you the exponential growth in the number of people using the Web, the time we all spend online and the number of sites available. You don’t need visualizations to know and understand this tendency. What is fascinating though is to compare the data with the growth in number of grossly obese people – there is, I am sure, an undeniable correlation between the two figures. Regrettably, I am no dietician and cannot judge whether it is the Web that makes us fat or it is the fat that somehow feeds the expansion of the Web or some other as yet undetermined force that drives both phenomena…

Parallel to the growth of the Internet there is the inexorable rise in the number of people over 30 who live alone or at least outside a stable relationship. The development of electronic communications mirrors the explosion in crime, particularly violent crime like murders.

The three graphs shown here lead us to the logical conclusion that either the Internet causes obesity, divorce and crime or alternatively, that Internet use is driven by corpulent, divorced, homicidal individuals!

The World Will Never Be the Same

So what exactly has changed during the last 15 years? Try and remember how many times you heard that mantra – after 9/11, after the onset of the crisis – everyone says that with the Internet the world will never be the same.

Now can you imagine what the world must have been like before the use of iron, electricity, before the invention of writing, before air travel, radio, TV, mobile phones?.. How revolutionary those discoveries were and how we have changed because of them? And does it matter given that they are a permanent fixture of our present and we take them for granted? I understand the Web as yet another instrument. It is like the first-ever metal knife. You can do useful things with it, or you can hurt yourself.

But were those inventions really „created” out of nothing or they had been there all the time waiting for someone to bring them into existence? I’d like to draw your attention to the difference between the nature of the creative process in science and in the arts. It is likely that you are familiar with the soundtrack of the ‘Pink Panther’ animated series. But how many of you know who the composer of that soundtrack is? Henry Mancini, that’s who. Let’s compare Henry Mancini’s music for the ‘Pink Panther’ with the compilation of the Periodic table by Mendeleev. What is the difference? Had Mendeleev been killed by a falling brick, no doubt someone else some place else some time later would have created the Periodic table of elements. Had the proverbial brick fallen on the head of Henry Mancini, no-one ever would have written quite the same composition.

Likewise the Internet would have come into existence sooner or later regardless of the fate of its creators. This means that technological progress carries about it an air of inevitability, of self-fulfilling prophesy.

The Perfect Computer

„Perfect machines for perfect life ” – this is the philosophy of the industrial society. So let us view the computer network as a compound entity comprised of separate elements, or computers.

What would the perfect computer look like? I imagine it to be self-improving, self-repairing, able to repair other computers. It should also be self-sufficient, not dependent on an electricity charge, it could even generate more power than it uses. The ideal computer would be able to create even better computers than itself.

The good news is, it already exists. I am that perfect computer!

I am capable of far more than memorizing and reproducing information, sending off mail and computing (which after all is at the root of the word ‘computer’). In order to live all I need is water, sunlight and cabbage salad, and in my lifetime I am capable of generating greater resources than I am ever likely to consume. If I am in need of nourishment I will use my own legs to search out a source and I certainly don’t live on electricity. I can develop my knowledge and physical skills. I can nurture other, malfunctioning ‘computers’. When my essential parts age with use and friction I will reproduce myself into several little ‘computers’. And did I mention that in that respect I am infinitely better placed than a Ferrari, because when a Ferrari is worn out it cannot bring forth little Ferraris.

Extraterrestrials Playing ‘Cry Extraterrestrial’

I know it’s hard to convince you that you are computers, especially within the confines of a 30-minute talk. So I will test your credulity even further by attempting to prove that you are in fact extraterrestrial computers!

Yes, WE are the extraterrestrials. We stick our round heads in square-shaped rooms and we try to shape a round Earth into a square. Where do we get this ‘squaredness’ from when it is inimical to nature? Slaves built the Egyptian pyramids out of square-shaped stones, and we build our financial pyramids out of square-shaped computer screens. This talk I wrote on square-shaped sheets of paper, too.

Jonas Salk says that if all the insects were to disappear from the Earth, within fifty years all life on Earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the Earth, within fifty years all forms of life would flourish.

I cannot think of another life form on this planet whose sole purpose seems to be to suck out its lifeblood, to bury it in waste and to destroy other forms of life, apparently in the name of ‘a better lifestyle’…

We bust ourselves earning money in order to spend them profligately, and then for things like going to the Moon where it is cold and inhospitable. Since you cannot argue against that I will go even further: I put it to you that it all comes down to our genetic memory, which pulls us in the direction we came from.

If you are confused you should know that by saying what I have said so far I managed to confuse myself too. So if I started out thinking I was a computer, then an extraterrestrial, now I am convinced that I am an extraterrestrial computer virus!

Spiders from Mars

My point is that the World Wide Web is merely a projection of ourselves, something we create in our own likeness. We explore Creation in order to know the Creator, not the other way around. Imagine you have never encountered humans and chance upon one of their creations, the automobile. How would they imagine the creator of a vehicle that has headlights like two eyes, two side view mirrors like ears and an exhaust pipe?!?!

Man is a social animal, we are constantly told, but we never stop to think what this actually means: that Humanity is an organism with humans playing the role of separate cells. We exist together, specialize in fulfilling various tasks (thus helping other cells) and colonize the Earth together, not separately. To my understanding it is humanity that is the real spider guided by its software in a quest to trap the Earth in its web, to suck out its resources, and than… what happens then… Well I guess the shared software will give us more instructions on the next evolutionary level of the computer game we are playing.

All experts tell us that in the coming years everything will be connected to the net: your cooker, your dog, your reading glasses – everything. Soon we will have chipsets implanted – something that is taking hold in the US right now – so that prisoners for instance will be allowed to serve out their sentences at home. That way we will connect to the Web our hardware as well.

Growth for Growth’s Sake

Let me ask you this: why do we want better technology, why do we want to improve, why do we want more of everything? ‘Because we want to live better’ is a frequent answer. Why is it then that the greater our prosperity, the less happiness we experience? Why do we have more friends but see them less often? We have more sex but less love. There is lots of music around be we sing less. We have tons of pictures of the world but we rarely leave our homes to go to the world. We have more security but less freedom. And what a collective loneliness is that – to hang out in the “social networks” while staying home alone…

Here is our biggest misinterpretation of life – we think that our goal is to satisfy our needs. But it is exactly the opposite – our needs are there only to stimulate us to achieve our purpose. The Goal is not to feel good – feeling good is our reward for following the program. We think that sex is the goal – but sex is only the stimulus by which our software entices us to multiply our species. We thing that doing successful business is the goal, but it is not – greed and ambition are just plug-ins in our software that only lead us to creating more and more resources for the Humankind monster. We think that our goal is to fight the world hunger. But we are programmed to feel compassion and to help each other because otherwise human population would not increase and we would not be able to colonize the Earth as a human race.

Thank you for the opportunity to exchange a few megabytes of information with the other participant machines here at this conference. I hope that it really enables us to update our browsers to a newer version.

Finally, let me address you, all my fellow computers and advise you thus: to enjoy better life — charge you batteries regularly, do not overheat, do not visit disreputable web sites, clean the dust off your monitors, empty the recycle bin regularly, use a proper antivirs program and give full access to your hard disk but only after checking properly the other devices beforehand. Negotiate daily the Big Question: how should growth serve me, not how I should serve growth. Remember: growth for growth’s sake is the operating mode of the cancer cell.

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