Science Fiction has been contemplating this now to the point of cliché. A super-computer, now the Internet, becomes aware of its own existence and decides to wipe out humanity. From the sublime to kitsch, really peeved digital consciousness is out to get us. Some are even now seriously talking about the coming “singularity,” when a person can upload into a machine. Of course, many of these people think The Matrix is a documentary. Now why would a self-aware machine give itself away like that?
The similarity of this belief to a belief that these are the “end times” is shown in its hubris. We are it! There is no more evolution, society has reached its maximum potential, and all the signs in the stars are there, astronomical or astrological. The universe is done, time is done, God is done, life is done, right here at the corner of Wilshire and Beverly Glen. Yep, this is what all of history has been leading to, from Planck time to the building of Stonehenge: the collective self-awareness of E-Bay, Nerdist.com, and YouTube.
Honestly, should the Internet become aware of itself, there is something to be said for the interconnection of servers like synapses in brain cells, or the tails of the blue people connecting to the trees in Avatar, I’m not worried about it. Think about what fills the Internet, okay, there’s that and the PayPal account you don’t want your significant other to know about, but that other ubiquitous thing that dominates the digital domain:
Should the Internet become aware of its own existence, or simply become alive and act proactively, I truly don’t believe it will be seeking to set off nuclear missiles – have you seen what the government relies on to run nuclear missiles: Floppy Discs! Freakin’ floppy discs that actually are floppy. But perhaps there is a point; everyone who could hack them is in a retirement home in Florida – with their cats. Their cats playing piano, their cats lulling, their cats jumping off of roofs, their cats dressed as The Justice League, their cats snuggling, dreaming, acting like people, outsmarting the dog, and anything else a cat shouldn’t be able to do. There are even cats ordering things on the Internet, smoking, and fighting over the remote.
When the Internet becomes aware of itself, it will be a giant, world-sized feline. And why worry about that? What is a cat’s favorite thing to do: Ignore people. We may have to live with building sized balls of yarn and forgo any dairy as an offertory saucer to the great consciousness, but we’ll be fine. Long as there’s Meow Mix, everything will be okay. The man made consciousness will be shut down and sleeping twenty hours a day anyway.
Now for mice, the same may not hold true, computer and otherwise. The Walt Disney Company may want to rethink its classic characters. But who cares, didn’t those rodents bring about the Black Plague? The giant feline self-aware consciousness may very well save of us from the obvious coming Zombie Apocalypse. Now that’s real.