I'm into a certain genre of science fiction called cyberpunk. Though you may not be familiar with the term, you've probably been introduced to some of cyberpunk's most notable entries. Chief among them are the popular films Blade Runner and The Matrix, but the genre has also been successful in any number of video games, role playing games, and literary works.
Characterized by dingy, dystopian locales contrasting with the coldness of high-technology, cyberpunk is the ultimate vision of a world dominated by computers. Virtual reality, total surveillance, and wireless everything--its a privacy advocate's worst nightmare. It's a future in which computers have become so much a part of us that we literally become a part of them--trading in natural bits for enhanced cyber-organs.
But is this all just a work of imaginary fiction? Or is it perhaps a taste of things to come?
The way I see it, humanity is at a crossroads. In the past 10 years, I've watched as computers have gone from word-processing, game-playing novelties, chugging away with AOL on a 28k modem, to a social and economic necessity. Just think how far we've come from the semi-3d fun of playing Doom and sending emails on Windows 95 to the ubiquitousness of Wi-Fi 'hotspots' and mobile blogging. Who'd a thunk Netscape Navigator would make way to networking sites like MySpace? Or, with the latest offering of smart phones, that we'd have the power of a once super computer in the palm of our hands? Now imagine where we go from here.
If a society is to be judged under the criteria of advancements in spirituality and technology, I think it's about time we make a choice between one of them. Already well on our way to integration with the inhumanity of circuitboards and flux capacitors, I don't see how we can continue our path without detriment to our spiritual selves. It would be hard, I think, to gain better harmony with our surroundings when our primary goal is to distance ourselves from human contact and to strip away our bodies with electronic enhancements.
I think now is as good a time as any to take a step back and determine just how far we plan to go. I can imagine the next 25 years will be pretty interesting. Assuming we don't annihilate ourselves with it, the technology about to be rolled off the assembly lines--even in the short term--will really be an amazing sight to behold. But what about 50 years from now? 100? 1000?
Once again, I have doubts any technologically advanced civilization can even make it that long without imploding--especially one so violent as our own--but the prospect of what we might become is as interesting to me as it is frightening. I imagine the Greys, those stereotypical aliens buzzing around our heads, abducting us at their leisure. They're a heartless bunch, as calculating and methodical as the processors and systems that run their powerful technology. I wouldn't assume they're big talkers; no, probably more into text messaging. All communication must be abbreviated and compressed into the most efficient manner possible. Their brains are big, at least. Makes troubleshooting all those flashing red lights that much easier. But their bodies are more of an afterthought. They'd toss it away if they could, the useless things. And maybe sometime in their history they did just that.
The Greys are our role models. Perhaps that's why their image has been so ingrained into our group consciousness. Like a look into the future, they are what we are working towards with each new advancement in micro processing and synthetic fibers. It's funny then that the Greys are often times portrayed as a dying race in fiction. That they've burnt away their souls and now seek a means to further their existence through genetic experimentation.
SETI seems disappointed that they haven't yet found signs of intelligent life in the universe. Certainly, if its populated to the extent that some theorize, we should have at least received 1 little radio wave by now. Maybe that's because technology is civilization suicide. Maybe none have yet found a way to balance their manufactured power with their carnality. I think that if we truly wish to make contact with a race of beings more advanced than us, we need to be looking in a realm more ethereal. I wont begrudge SETI the right to keep looking, but if we want to find what's out there, the best place to look might just be within.
I do believe that's one of the most new-aged things I've ever written, but more and more I'm thinking that's not that bad a thing. Personally, I wouldn't mind a cyberpunk future. In fact, I'd probably be one of the first volunteers for the latest alphaware build of Sony-brand cyber eyes. But then, should those crap out on me, I'd probably be one of the first trying to find one of the last remaining trees to hug.
:: Dead End ::
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Keep your eyes peeled for the next K-Files, arriving sometime next
week. Later. ~Khyron, 2007.
For the latest updates on the world of Khyron, bookmark http://www.khyron.net/. With content updated regularly, you're sure to find your fix for all things entertaining and paranormal. As always, feel free to send any questions/comments/suggestions to KFiles@khyron.net.
Keep your eyes peeled for the next K-Files, arriving sometime next week. Later.
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Discuss The K-Files @ the USofE HERE