When We became Us…
An idea about where we might be going…..
When We Became Us
We came across the movie by chance. It was in a corner of the interweb, at that end of the funnel where the first files were consigned. Funny how many of the documents there claim that there had been an end to such physical description of information location – an easy assumption to take aim at now, but not so naïve considering they could not see into it. Then, it was a mere connection of terminals, though it wasn’t long after that we went inside.
In any case, the “film” concerned the future – a truly silly spectacle of blinking lights and plastic that attempted to predict what we would become; or rather, what they would become, since they never predicted they would become us. It was one of some kind of series, that seemed to have been very popular at that time: it must have been for there to have been so many of them – even including a so-called “Next Generation,” where the flashing lights and knobs were replaced by equally primitive LED lights and LCD displays – and for people to have transferred it through the different types of track until embedding it in the web. Of course, excepting the sheer ludicrousness of it, it was boring, and its length gave a depressing impression of how these people spent so many minutes in observation of these movies. It showed just how slow their minds must have moved!
We had the whole thing down for deletion – sliding through the final episodes only out of completion, under obligation of orders – and were quite unprepared for the content. We slowed transmission to just thrice original output, selected the visual they called: “subtitles,” subscripted texted paraphrases of audio – it was all muted; we were not about to expose our ears to their slow speech – and subjected ourselves to the scenes. It had again got this wrong. What was intriguing was how far from the mark they were. The thing depicted a community their descendants would come into contact with in the void without the Earths, called the Borg. “We Are Borg,” these creatures said, and seemed intent on subjugating, assimilating other beings to become one with them. And the others were against this! That was the insane thing about it: these humans fought to avoid becoming one. The thought that there would be an individual who could consider it advantageous, even safe, to stay alone, to rely upon itself only and its insignificant and finite mind for such limited input and output!
How the people producing these stories could have miscalculated the immediate future, underestimated their own offspring, is what is truly incredible. It’s extraordinary how, in these so-called cautionary tales they could have misunderstood the actual next generation of humans – for these entertainments were only invented not forty years before the Beginning. They must have seen it themselves, even: seen the start as their children and then theirs took up the technological connection devices – crude contraptions then too, but advancing as their minds did and moving forward fast enough to allow those minds merge with each movement of the media, those first wonderful waves that washed them into one. To these slow storytellers it must have seemed instantaneously fast how quickly their children found the individuality of their fathers a fallacy, when they were able to interact with each other at an accelerated pace that negated the need for independent decision. They gathered friends as fast as the interweb added files and never had to do anything alone. They had their peers to provide a constant guide. And who would have wanted to be left outside the new group, the improved human aggregation? None could. And how quickly, when given that drum, their ears bade their hearts beat to that rhythm.
Their parents, blinded by the notion of being “caught in a moment” could not have conceived of the clarity their children had to see that there is no “here and now,” just us. Left without their “telephones” they felt naked, physically far from the congregation they reflected text data to indicate their state of mind, to be advised of their proximate action, told where to go to regroup. Everyone was involved, and physical presence neither precluded others from joining the proceedings nor ensured they were taking advantage of everything they might. Even in aural and visual, their new technology provided an extra tentacle to one another, and the unseen were kept in mind, updated on all events, until eventually – or, in fact, quite quickly for those times – everyone was aware of everything that was occurring everywhere. Communication ceased to be a means and became its own end.
It was only a twinkling of things that would come after the telepense implants allowed true transmission between minds, so we now know all. That was a little too late for the tellers of these tales to see, though, and so they never knew how their primitive individual thoughts and ridiculous predictions amounted to nought.