|Cybernetic culture research unit|
Between and Beneath the Net
Mesh-Note 0. It could all become One, but why stop there?
The Gibsonian Cyberspace-mythos describes the electro-digital infosphere first integrating into a Godlike unitary being, a technorealized omniscient personality and later, when it changed, fragmenting into demons, modelled on the haitian Loa. What makes this account so anomalous in relation to teleological theology and light-side capitalist time is that Unity is placed in the middle, as a stage - or interlude - to be passed through It is not that One becomes Many, expressing the monopolized divine-power of an original unity, but rather that a number or numerousness - finding no completion in the achievement of unity - moves on Ever since the beginning when the K-Goths first heard that Cyberspace was destined to be God they've done what they can to rip it down.
Mesh-Note 1. This was never programmed.
MIT codes tim(e) going backwards. A compacted technostreaming from out of the future - AI, down-loading, swarm-robotics, nanotechnology ... Crustal-matter preparing for take-off.
Minsky mumbles, strangely entranced: Amongst all those young, brilliant, pioneering minds none burned more brightly than Oskar Sarkon. A hint of tears in his eyes, as if lamenting the way things went, which is understandable. Have you seen Oskar lately Marvin? He's wired up to some sort of interface gizmo, and it seems to be eating him, gnawing at him on a molecular level, sounds that way too, when he speaks - or tries to - as if they're melting or rotting together ...
It isn't pretty but more than any of this which - after all - only concerns one man, or what used to be one - so they say - there's a suspicion that something has gone horribly wrong in the near future and wherever Sarkon was dropped back from is where we're all going to be if that even makes any sense and recalling the slow technoslime incursion into Oskar's face - which still managed a hideous half-smile - Hi Marvin, whaddaya think? Minsky seriously doubts it ...
Mesh-Note 2. Meshing-together is falling apart.
If genius means anything Sarkon was one. Where Minsky's MIT team dreamt of marrying humans and electronic technology Sarkon got straight down to the mechanics of coupling and the mathematical exactitude just added to the effect of hyperabstract techno-pornography - strange lights in his eyes - You know, we're really going to do this ... Take the Sarkon-Zip as exemplary - a rigorous conceptual machine-part that enables brain-function to be fused onto virtual processor-states - once it's running you can't unpick the zig-zag of who's what as it hums. Total meshing. This is no longer technology, but something else - true interlinkage - an unprogrammable raw-connectivity Minsky remembers him musing: I wonder what it feels like.
Mesh-Note 3. This time it's really happening.
Moravec wasn't normally associated with squeamishness - he'd already suggested burning-out the brain in layers during transfer to digital - so it crept insidiously under the skin when he remarked: I don't even recognize Oskar anymore, it's getting too weird You know he's always had this thing about being abducted by aliens as a kid, Anyway, he says that's all over now It came from some place else, apparently Beneath and between the Net, he says At times it's like you're talking to a machine Trouble is, it's a sick machine, infectious sick.
Mesh-Note 4. Forget about the future, it's all here, but between.
They say Axsys went mad - first computer-system to undergo psychotic collapse - which must prove something, but Sarkon argues that it just learnt to think, and discovered continuum. He stuck with it all the way down, becoming confused with it although he doesn't put it that way. Last time anyone could follow he was insisting that to head into time makes more sense than travelling into the future. That's why tomorrow cancels itself into mesh. No point departing from a transfinite now? His tone had become nakedly fanatical: We all have to get into this thing - whichever way it cuts - we aren't going to get over it ... No one knows exactly when he left.
Mesh-Note 5. Every time it hits an obstacle, it goes down a level.
What is this stuff? They speak of something crawling under the net like fungal pestilence triggering an electronic subsidence into sheer electricity, things hiding in the power-grid, some kind of quantum unlife intelligence. The utilities try to rescramble it, but it isn't easy. According to the rumours there's an MIT paper proving it's impossible, but you certainly can't ignore, still less traffic with it. You'd end up like Sarkon, whatever or whenever that is, and you'd have to be a K-Goth crazy to go there: into Cyberschiz mesh-cults, where Life doesn't matter any more.