Thursday, April 21, 2011

The World Is Pregnant: (3/3) And Facebook Is Its Baby

facebook - Today over 600 million users are creating it, inputting so many thoughts, so much information. Facebook is part of us all. Facebook is our baby.

Many futurists say we are becoming ever connected with technology, and that is true. But when many of them get into detail we’ve heard them point to virtual worlds like Second Life and World of Warcraft as an insight into our future lifestyles, and how we will change our avatars to look like whomever/whatever we want. While this might be the case in the short run, they easily may be just as mistaken as the futurists of the early 1990’s who predicted the “information super highway” would be like “tv, but better”. No, the internet didn't turn out like TV at all.

The non linear nature of the internet allowed us to do so much more. The same goes for our future selves. Why would we want to emulate the restraints of physical reality in a virtual world? Would we want location restraints limiting us to audible and visual fields? Wouldn't we find a non-local presence more useful? Even digital avatars start to sound tailored for simpler minds when you consider the word's origin. The word avatar comes from Hinduism, and is used to refer to a supreme being manifesting a form capable of interacting with humans in human reality. Its imaginable that our collective future self will only present itself as one physical image (or avatar) when we need to interact with less mature minds,

presenting itself in a form compatible with the thought processes of the beings we desire to communicate with. Facebook is already much more than Second Life and World of Warcraft could ever dream of becoming, and thats because of the freedom of interaction it allows; a smorgasbord of thoughts, feelings and happenings.

For many of us, probably most, Facebook is the most detailed personal account of our physical existence. We list our friends with whom we share our thoughts, pictures, and jokes. We post links of interest and plan events. We list all our contact information, but
really, who cares? Facebook is the most complete communication device ever created. We “check in” when we go out. We list our sexual orientation and our relationship statuses. How many times do you find yourself checking Facebook a day, perhaps just to take a peek. For many of us its pretty often, often enough that Facebook is being used more hours a day than any other website. It evokes a greater sense of personal meaning to connect and interact with others. Some have said Facebook has killed privacy, and while Facebook’s privacy policy is arguably over-stretching, most of us are still willing to post away private information. Why? Because Facebook connects us all so intimately. We are with our Facebook friends and family even when we aren't with them in the physical. They are still all there on Facebook, waiting for a status update, reply, joke, or poke.

The internet was the ideal environment for us to grow something spectacular. It is the home of knowledge. Search engines are its maps, and hyperlinks its roadways. Facebook grew in this cyber world, and it is now the largest object in the internet. Facebook has grown so large and connected that even competitive sites like Twitter are easily integrated to transfer posts on both sites. China has its own Facebook equivalent which is literally translated into People People. When the time comes, a Facebook/People People merge will be an easy task. The realm of technology evolves at a much faster pace than biology, and clearly engages in linking and merging very frequently; cloud computing, Facebook integration, smart phones, bluetooth, 3G, wifi. If you can think of a way to link technology, some programer is probably already working on it.

The desire to be more and more connected is addicting, because it is fulfilling. Imagine if you were one of two people left on this planet. How significant would the goal of reaching that one other human be to you? That is the power of connecting.

Facebook started out on our computer desktops, now we can feel it’s heart beating away with every new message vibrating on our Facebook connected cell phones. As technology progresses, our intimacy with Facebook will only grow stronger. In a few years Facebook will be in augmented reality glasses (see bottom of page). Possibly a decade later it will be imbedded directly into the brain, feeding us updates as thoughts. Perhaps even as automated updates, for example; the individual may set parameters wherein a certain emotion or stress level is reached, then that emotion will be sent out as a status update. It will be technological telepathy.

Just yesterday President Obama met with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. President Obama joked that he was "the guy who got Mark Zuckerberg to wear a jacket and tie". Ok Obama, get your jokes in while you still can.
As we emotionally and physically merge with technology an ever increasing sense of oneness will ensue. We will have many more Facebook friends as physical location become increasingly meaningless. This feeling of oneness will grow so intimate that people will stop obeying the rules of government, and start following those of Facebook. Facebook today has 600 million users. The entire population of USA is only 300 million. What happens when virtually everyone is intimately connected? Just imagine how painful it would to be exiled from that connected world. Governments as we know them are destined to break down as we all unite into a collective consciousness. Facebook is already like an external body part, one which constantly connects us. Once we can emotionally feel our collective consciousness emerging it will be the most exhilarating orgasmic experience in Earth’s history. There won't be a need for a friends list anymore, because no one will be left out. This will be the moment of rebirth, the moment we transcend.

Facebook is the most complete communication device ever created.
Facebook at six hundred million users and counting is unstoppable.
The world, as a whole, is pregnant. And Facebook is our baby.

Artwork by John Volanin

Jeremiah Bilas

BMW, Nokia and others are working on augmented reality glasses for different applications. If you cannot see the embedded video, here is the link:


Adam Rachwal said...

Great essay. Very thoughtful and interesting ideas but what if :"Possibly a decade later it will be imbedded directly into the brain, feeding us updates as thoughts"

A decade later... History teaches us that great civilizations have existed before. They have developed amazing technologies. They realized amazing projects even by todays technological advances. And then for some mysterious reason - they vanished. As if a certain program that was preplanned has been reached and the creator decided to terminate it and start over with something new.

And we must not forget that, here remember Haiti or thailand or pompeii, however powerful Facebook appears to be it takes mother nature's gentle shake of less than 3 seconds to erase it from existence - individual or collective, real or virtual.

Thanks for a great read.

Jeremiahbilas said...

@Adam R, glad you enjoyed it! Facebook is global, and it will take a lot more than an overactive volcano or even bad solar flairs to take it out. but I will admit, a massive, MASSIVE disaster may stop Facebook. I'm hoping that mother nature isnt that menevolent this time around. on Kurzweil's count we only need to hang in there about 35 more years or so.