[iDC] play, open-ended research, post-critical approaches

john sobol john at johnsobol.com
Mon Oct 2 10:34:11 EDT 2006

On 2-Oct-06, at 4:03 AM, Simon Biggs wrote:

>> Many human cultures have traditions of animism and the imanenence of 
>> space.I suspect that this cultural history is also part of the drive 
>> to
>> make an Internet of Things.

> What Steve is saying here is really wonderful.

I too think this is important.

It is one of the themes I address in my epic performance-poem 
(mentioned by Tobias a few posts back) called 2 Million Years of 
Technology. Here is a small excerpt from that poem-as-text:

The truth is that we are experiencing
The end of uncompromised orality
The very end
In our own lifetime
Of pure primordial oral consciousness
The original world-making killer app
With which our species has shaped itself over 99.9% of its being
While we cram our ears with Britney Spears
Thousands of languages are dying
Each containing sacred songs, spells and secrets
Vocabularies that have unlocked for countless generations
the mysteries of self and space
Self and soul
Self and so much else
Magical consciousness
Shamanic wisdom
The ancient sounds of being beyond the bookish world
All lost
Never to return
It is a moment of epic significance for our species
And for all that
Largely unacknowledged
And utterly misunderstood

But even more remarkably
this extinction of orality occurs during the very same lifetime
As the birth of the next evolutionary killer app
the dawn of a new knowledge-sharing tool
this epic conclusion occurs
alongside a beginning
of vast yet unknown significance
The interactive internet
Currently linking a billion people around the world in real time
the next storytelling bomb

So, the three linguistic killer apps of human evolution
Are the spoken word, the printed word and the electronic word
The logos of the body, the logos of the book, the logos of binary data
And we are living today at the epic conjunction of these three eras, 
these three technologies, these three cultures

Tho in just a few decades
We – soft and grey
Will be the only ones left who can remember
A time before the Internet
A time before home computers
Before everything

And then
What is lost
Will be well and truly lost
And the wisdom of our oral elders
Will either become utterly obsolete
(just another played out killer app
rotting on the slagheap of evolution)
it will survive –
not unchanged
transformed, yes
but vital

excerpted from 2 Million Years of Technology
by John Sobol


bluesology • printopolis • digitopia
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