It’s getting loud. The party is really beginning to happen. Someone brought some chemicals and things are getting a little twisted. I look out and count 4 or 5 billion… What? 6 billion? Already? Wow, that was fast work! Looks like we’re gonna need some more chips n’ dip if we wanna keep this one from being a bust.
Can you imagine the noise and confusion at a party this size? It is ungodly huge. We got people killin’ one another over in that corner and we’ve got yer heavy philosophy over there by the fridge and yer entertainment up stairs. Go on, check it out!
Me? I want to follow the ideas. There are so many folks out there thinking things up, and telling others what to think, and having the ideas extended, modified and mutated. The ideas are amazing. So many of them. What a confusion! I want to head out to the fringe and bring back some of the exotica to show my friends.
The net is almost ripe for surfing. Storms in Mexico and all that. Most days I can be found out bobbing on the board. Looking for the really big one, OUTSIDE.
I’m ready to take my role as a neuron. I’ll read a thousand inputs from a thousand random places. Sure, I’ll have my biases. I mean, if you shove an axon into the optic bundle of course you’re gonna get a lot of graphics. If you’re hooked into comics or Vic’s Vapo-Rub you gotta expect things to be a little different. I’ll take my thousand inputs and fuck with ‘em. Mash ‘em together, get excited, get ‘em confused. Get ‘em wrong. Make them mine and pass them on to anyone that will listen.
Look, I’ve got my favorite authors, my favorite inputs. Of course I pay more attention if it is Gauss or Bach or Sedgwick. What’s that? How can I put Sedgwick in the same sentence with Gauss? Hey, I like Sedgwick. Yeah, I know that he didn’t invent all those algorithms, that he just wrote them up. He did it nicely. Besides, are you sure that Gauss wasn’t just a compiler himself? I mean, you don’t know what inputs he was hooked into. Maybe if you were in his shoes you would have been him.
You see, it is a fundamental tenant that all neurons are created equal. They all talk to anybody. They deal as best they can with whatever gets blown at them. They pass it on. Some of the people downstream will just think you’re crazy. “What’s he ranting about this time?” Others will think you’re brilliant, “Oh wow, like I never thought about it that way. That’s fucking amazing!” Those ones will crank up the volume. I mean your fans. They will amplify you and broadcast you and mimic you. Others will call you merely derivative. These are the guys that share some of your inputs. They know all your sources. They know you didn’t invent it all. You copied most of it anyway. But hey… if they say you’re derivative, they’re just jealous.
So I’m a neuron in a great neural net. Ho Humm… another stupid recursive fractal analogy, move up to a colossal scale and see the same thing. Single cell organisms group together to form a single multi-cell organism. Single neurons group to make a single brain which is a neuron in a larger single multi organism organism.
Yeah… and an atom looks like the solar system. Just another standard SF plot. Brin probably copied it from Asimov who caught it from Plato or something. So you’re a neuron. Big deal.
Well, I’m gonna start acting like a neuron that knows he is one and knows how to act. I didn’t choose my inputs. I don’t choose my outputs. I just get to change my scalar values.
Some will think this is novel, some will think it is insane, but some of you, my dearest friends, my cohort will just say, “boring…. Pointless”