This post is one of many that will be collected in the thrilling return of the Carnival of Journalism.
Brother Cavil: In all your travels, have you ever seen a star go supernova?
Ellen Tigh: No.
Brother Cavil: No? Well, I have. I saw a star explode and send out the building blocks of the Universe. Other stars, other planets and eventually other life. A supernova! Creation itself! I was there. I wanted to see it and be part of the moment. And you know how I perceived one of the most glorious events in the universe? With these ridiculous gelatinous orbs in my skull! With eyes designed to perceive only a tiny fraction of the EM spectrum. With ears designed only to hear vibrations in the air.
Ellen Tigh: The five of us designed you to be as human as possible.
Brother Cavil: I don’t want to be human! I want to see gamma rays! I want to hear X-rays! And I want to – I want to smell dark matter! Do you see the absurdity of what I am? I can’t even express these things properly because I have to – I have to conceptualize complex ideas in this stupid limiting spoken language! But I know I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws! And feel the wind of a supernova flowing over me! I’m a machine! And I can know much more! I can experience so much more. But I’m trapped in this absurd body! And why? Because my five creators thought that God wanted it that way!
Have you had a moment when you felt like you were breathing the network? When the waft of knowledge hit your nose and you could taste the data?
It’s a fleeting feeling, but I know it. For a taste, throw on your headphones, fire up TweetDeck and watch a crisis pan out. It’s thrilling.
And it’s where we’re headed. Totally immersive immediacy. I don’t know what the technologies will be. The data will ride on my 3d goggles and my conductive underwear, or my surround-view Kinect room, or my sensory deprivation in-ear headphones and holographic display… whatever the medium, I’m gonna *feel* it.
What is media literacy in that world? What does journalism become, when everything is ephemeral, when the Tweets wash over your mind, neighbor to your own thoughts?
Hell if I know.
But that’s what we need to be thinking about.
Catch up reading:
Rainbow’s End by Vernor Vinge
Counting Heads by David Marusek
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
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Rainbow’s End is one of my favorites. I’ll have to check out the others.
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