Mitchell's City of Bits: Commentary and Discussion

Heading toward a State of Non-existence

Brian D. Hardy

It certainly seems as if things are heading toward a state of non-existence. Perhaps the Net (as Mitchell likes to call it, so I too shall) is the Antichrist. (Nostradamus predicted that the third Antichrist would destroy mankind/womankind as we know it). If we can do all these things that Mitchell describes (it certainly seems like everything and anything is possible), then what is the purpose for human existence? If specialized individuals can tranfer dictionaries into Net-dictionaries, how far away are we from putting the entire human genome on the Net? Would it even be possible to take a DNA sample from an individual who was on the brink of death, translate all of that information into binary code, and then somehow insert it into a computer/onto the Net. Immortality seems to be attainable. Granted, there are many benefits to virtual reality/cyborgs/the Net, but where does it all stop. Does progress go on indefinitely across a infinitely flat earth, or does it fall off a cliff lurking on the horizon? Who knows? Are we as ignorant right now as Columbus's critics were in their day? I guess "time" will tell. Who or what will be the regulator of all this? How can super-power countries such as ours make Net laws/statutes and then expect to enforce them when there are people in Malaysia who don't even know what a computer looks like (I do not know this for a fact)? Is it a Utopia or an Inferno? Look at primeval man and the invention of fire; daily life improved manifoldly. Now go watch an orphanage filled with children burn to the ground. Misuse/judgement will be THE factor that dictates our fate.

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