Hot on the heels of the 7/7 case, far-seeing former home secretary David Blunkett has been deployed in the current round of ‘repeater’ voices repeating the word terror in as many fear-prickling contexts as possible, in his case specifically the threat posed from cyberspace to the 2012 Olympic Games.
You will have already noticed the Games’ apocalyptic logo: if an earthquake were branded, that would be it. This more bassy sort of repeating has been left to a more shadowy voice, that of Iain Lubban, head of UK Big Brother nerve centre GCHQ:
The Internet is in danger of becoming a threat to the future prosperity of the UK and its allies, he says.
You’ll recognise the commercial link deftly made, and the trustworthiness and credibility we are expected to give the words of someone trumpeted as relatively untrumpeted. And the War note sounded with
Cyberspace is contested every day, every hour, every minute, very second.
Not any old War-on, mind you. A rather ingenious manifestation of Orwell’s ’84 vision is upon us. Not only a war without end but a war without time. A war that has no time – is outside of time – because it is, as Lubban says, happening all the time. None less than a Noospheric War to complement the War on Terra the die-hard Sky People are itching for. In the States, anyway, I can definitely see modern-day suburban Cnuts squirting off pistol clips at quakes and tsunamis.
Arguelles, the neo-Mayanist, working from Vernadsky, the Russian biospheric scientist, describes the noosphere as the ‘thought envelope’ wrapping the planet. Rather weakly, feverishly, schizophrenically, at the moment, due largely if not entirely to the cellular super-replication of the technosphere, which we might think about as a planet-sized ‘monkey brain’ – as the Buddha called the contraption of neuroses, obsessions and compulsions the average joe calls ‘me’.
This is the easy part. Technosphere bad: desensitizes young people, simulates and assimilates, erodes at culture and psychosocial feeling, robbing us bit by bit of that which makes us human.
This is the hard part. That which makes us human? Let’s (you sense the irony coming) look at those things the technosphere most feverishly assimilates: sex and violence. In robbing us of all that stuff – the war games, the thug games, the xxx games, the porno – will we not be better off?
This is not an apology for porn or violent games. I am only using zingy examples to illuminate the irony behind this internet robbing us of what we do thing. On the other hand is there not something of the Return in it? Think of the akashic intertransmission that must take place when, say, a redneck in Alabama views a naughty pic of a woman – american, needless to say – in a burqa. Not at all moral thing I am doing here. Yes, such a man might very well be a racist, misogynist, 8-litre engine-owner…but to stay at that level is to remain in tautology. At the Meme level…what is happening? Perhaps all sorts of complexes of personal (autonomic and sexual arousal or not) and cultural (War on Terror, War on Islam etc) stuff are being passed around, manipulated, documented.
Cell biologists worth their salt these days have put Darwinism under a heavy glass lid in the Louvre next to The Kilogramme. Evolution is not driven by random code mutations; the whole business is in fact highly optimised. Top-threat bacteria and viruses are highly evolved, possessing precise keys to the extremely well defended human cell. When you look at the sequences of proteins involved in, say, HIV coming in through a human cell wall, you have to say it is a very impressive transaction indeed. One that cell biologists have teamed with computer scientists in order to understand. I am not an expert, and we are sorely lacking in references here [comments section, any expert commentators?] but take it on tick for now that the maths of it is closely allied with the maths of stuff like online credit card security…I suppose highly complex if-then bifurcating tree fractal weird stuff that takes Palo Alto millions of dollars and some Bulgarian cash machine gang five minutes to crack.
Anyway. Here we have, out there in the world of actual, practised, current research and thinking, a link between the biosphere (cell biology) and the technosphere-masquerading-for-now-as-the-noosphere. The patterns are the same. Does the Bulgarian cash machine gang sit down and read up on cutting edge cell biology maths before going out on the rumble? No. It’s one of those things. A pattern thing. A sort of lateral pattern recognition.
This is my big tip for the Spiralling In…that all sorts of worlds, as the sand goes through the timer, are pressed up hard against each other, in some abstract, culture-space-time sense, and in this compressed perspective it becomes easier and easier to spot the similarities. Spot the workings. In a way, I suppose, Chomsky’s grail of a Generalised Grammar. The fabric of language-mediated worlds. The granularity of culture.
What the internet is robbing us of is that which we need to be robbed of in order to be…human.
The internet – and by extension the technosphere – is actually a Good Thing.
What? Even the bauxite plants that pumped red sludge all over the Balkans? Yes. It’s harder to see these physical contraptions as Something Good. But yes.
The thought goes something like this. Within ourselves, as Jung would say, we do not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious (porn and war games). Now take the same argument and apply to the planet. Quakes and ‘namis are the rearing up of buried monsters. The Kraken is called to temper mankind. A mankind that has buried for too long the Monster. The Wild Being. The Antichrist.
Nature, but not the Garden.
And all we had to do all along was to take Him/Her/It into account. Owning up to our own fears – outing ourselves at the soul level – is the gardening task before us all. The more heavily buried these fears, the higher the monsters will rear when their biospheric reflections erupt from the Earth.