Shifting Gears

It's been two years since I wrote the first Ash Fork installment. The idea was that I would learn to write narrative off the top of my head, without looking back, and I've done that. But now I'm at a place where in order to do something more with it, I have to pull it together, edit and give it a tight structure. I can't do that online, so I am going to do something different for awhile online, and put some time into a science fiction novel derived from Ash Fork.

In the last installments I had a character tell the original story, of Bergamo, perceived as a god and as a monster, providing an underlying myth for Ash Fork. The only thing a culture cannot survive is the loss of the unifying mythology underlying it. It stands to reason, then, that to establish a new culture depends on establishing a new myth, one powerful enough to provide a foundation on which to build a new society.

The Christ myth was such a strong foundational mythology that we started time over from his ETA. Starting time over again is a common practice among tribal people. Ash Fork is about starting time over, and about the establishment of a myth, or creation story, which "seals the container." Inside the container, a new world takes root in a place that is of nebulous location. It might be in a drop of water. A DNA computer the size of a drop of water would be far more powerful that all the computers now on earth. Right now the implications of such a computer are just being grasped, but the field is in its infancy.

It blows my mind to think about what that would make possible. Combine that with the idea of self-replicating machines, and the exploration of Space seems less like a human exploration than something as yet unknown. But the real kicker to me is the collapse of distance, as we move into a world where we have instantaneous access to anyone, anywhere. Our physical bodies are limited, but our informational existence is not. And then there is the multiverse, wherein we all exist in parallel universes.

These things are fun to write about, but compared to the science fiction I read in the past, they are a challenge, because they can't be contained in a linear thought process. There is an evolutionary movement toward Space, and it involves people increasingly analogizing themselves to computers, and understanding themselves in terms of multi-tasking, and what appears to be attention deficit. Do all these kids we're medicating really have a problem?

Maybe. Maybe not. The problem might be an entrenched system from the manufacturing age, and its inability to adapt to the evolutionary process quickly enough to provide our children what they are going to need in a world where they will become conscious of the multiverse, if it is real. A person with our configuration would go nuts to be suddenly confronted with the reality of being in an unknown number of parallel universes simultaneously. The person who can exist in the multiverse will have an identity as pure information, as I imagine it.

The most interesting thing about the stem cell controversy is the argument that it will lead to cloning, as if there is some way to stop cloning. I don't think there is any way to stop something which is a knowledge process streaming from past into future. There is no way to stop self-replicating machines in space. The only decision is whether they are turned outward, toward knowledge, or militarized and turned back toward us, to establish control.

The same people who started the Iraq war, and who were behind the propaganda of how much military might Russia had (Rumsfeld and Cheney) when they were using the Cold War to build power, are now moving to put weapons in orbit around the earth so that America can zap anybody anywhere anytime.

There is no issue more critical to how we face the future than this one, just as there is no issue more critical to whether we intend to ever give up the occupation of Iraq than whether or not we intend to have permanent bases there. If we do, then we can indeed expect more terrorist attacks and endless war, which is the business of the military industrial complex. (In Eisenhower's original speech he wrote it as military industrial Congressional complex.)

These things are no surprise, really.

Campbell pointed out that if you want to see who's in charge look at who has the tallest buildings. It isn't the government anymore, that's for certain. The Twin Towers and Pentagon weren't targeted as just office buildings; they were symbols of the military industrial complex, which has become the military industrial informational Congressional complex. It might stand for a lot of things, but personal freedom isn't one of them.

death star

Posted: Sun - October 29, 2006 at 09:34 PM