Sep 12, 2014

What if Your Computer Used YOU to google stuff? And Three Other Probing Questions

What if one day you found out that your computer was using you to search the Mindternet?

Learning from you. Evolving. Gradually becoming you. And as you grew machinelike, so would your computer grow human. You’d meet somewhere down the middle, both of you perfect cyborgs, but in complementary ways.

Photo by Alberto Lanz

What if the creator god of a given universe suddenly found out... 

...that his universe was not the only one, that there were “vacant” universes just ripe for the taking, and would seek to move into one or more of those universes and declare himself god to the natives?

Similar stories have been written before, by Christian and non-Christian Gnostics. One such story is The Hypostasis of the Archons, found in the Nag Hammadi library. The “library,” an ancient cache comprised of thirteen papyrus codices, was discovered in Upper Egypt by an Arab man, Muhammad Ali al-Samman in December 1945. He took the leather-bound volumes home but didn’t know what to do with them, and his mother used some of the papyri as kindling.

What if dogs weren’t real animals, but manifestations of the human psyche? 

A strange form of shared solipsism, that. (And can you really have species-wide solipsism, or should it be called something else?)

We sure strive to create dog breeds “in our image” — meaning, not dogs that look like us, but dogs that seem to answer our longing for an ideal nonhuman companion. Even if we hurt them in the process.

What if sound (vibration) were the raw material of the universe? 

Athanasius Kircher, probably not the first person to conceive of a cat organ, speculated about the possibility of transmitting music over great distances in his work Musurgia Universalis. This was 1673 and, at least on planet Earth, radio hadn’t been invented yet.

It’s difficult to describe a future, as-yet non-existent technology resorting only to the vocabulary defined by the technologies you know. To experience that difficulty yourself, try explaining the Internet in terms of cave paintings.

Illustration from Musurgia Universalis

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