Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Internet Tower of Babble

Perhaps it's just a testimony to an acute personal case of "dégoûté de la vie", but after only a few years of jockeying my keyboard across the perennially pale and infinite expanses of cyber space I have come to the conclusion that the mad cacophonous din arising from every corner and crevice of the known world and parading in effusive and largely vainglorious display on these ubiquitous screens is simply our own post modern version of the ancient biblical Tower of Babel.
According to the biblical narrative, a generation reconstituted after the great flood and possessing "one language" arrived in the environs of present day Iraq in what was later to become Babylon and there under the aegis of Nimrod, son of Ham, gathered together to construct the legendary edifice lest they be "scattered abroad across the face of the earth" (Genesis 11:4). Evidently the Creator realizing that His erring creatures had learned nothing from the catastrophic annihilation of their predecessors from the face of the earth, came down to visit their building.
5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
The unprecedented amalgamation of known language into one electronic cyber platform made readily available due to the "magic" of instantaneous translation appears to be a technological reversal of the divinely mandated confusion of tongues, rendering all languages mutually comprehensible, thus restoring the single language of a common humanity to the builders of our modern Babel. Yet Babel seems, by the nature of its very impossible original mission, to condemn its denizens to "confusion" (as in the original Hebrew).The mere proliferation of information which serves as the elemental building blocks of the internet disseminates a similar confusion, if not of tongues, than of understanding, and more significantly, knowledge. The very volume and seemingly infinite extensity of  "information" guarantees that even the meaningful and significant species of thought will be literally drowned out in the superficiality and trivialization arising from the vast and inexhaustible reservoirs of human folly and ignorance.
What is even more significant is that very processes of human imagination and cognition have come to seamlessly interface with the electronic and digital platforms with which they interact, thereby being irrevocably  transformed. As a result all forms of social interaction, commerce, transportation, communications, industry, finance, and entertainment have likewise become interconnected and dependent upon computerized technological applications. From high frequency stock trading to e-commerce and social media, the very profile of human interaction has taken on the image and likeness of its cyber creation. It is no wonder then that the once unthinkable science fiction of a manufactured human/machine hybrid is taking shape in the quest  for so called transhumanism and "singularity" by the social engineers of our scientific technological imperative.
Against the background of this unprecedented supremacy and preeminence of  technological innovation , the narrative of the Tower of Babel and most especially the increasing realization that "the people is one and they all have one language" is also rapidly developing in the context of the widespread acknowledgment of the so called New World Order and the unmistakable construct of global governance presently in progress. The obvious and essential role that the internet has played in this process is undeniable. Only some three decades ago internet usage was 16 million or 0.4% of the world's population. As of 2013 that figure has grown exponentially to 2.7 billion or more than 38% of world population. In the more highly technologically advanced countries the rise in internet usage is even more pronounced. In North America, the participation of internet usage is  presently 85%.
In an incredibly short period in human history, society has been transformed into an collectively invasive and unavoidable matrix of  "total information awareness" from which emanates the the specter of a national surveillance and security statism prefigured long ago by George Orwell in his novel "1984" and Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World". The alacrity with which an enslaved and only dimly aware populace embraces the very conditions of their collective servitude as evidenced in these works of fiction become all too real is readily on display as people surrender their autonomy and privacy in a headlong rush to collective subsumption. As the walls and battlements of our modern Babel rise confidently and presumptuously towards the empyrean, challenging the majesty of divinity itself, little can they guess that within the shadows of those proud ramparts rests the haunting future of their undoing and confounding as of old.


After listening to the welter of unfounded speculation, misinformation, propaganda, and simply ordinary foolishness erupting across the internet in the endless and hopelessly muddied streams of talk shows and the clamorous cacophony of multifarious websites concerning the escalating and convulsive economic crises and geopolitical embroilments gripping the nations, one cannot fail to observe the veritable confusion of tongues referred to in Genesis 11. Meanwhile and perhaps even more disturbing is the quiescent apathy, complacency, and blind self satisfaction embracing large sectors of the populace seeking to escape the approaching storm as they burrow even more deeply into the reassuring and yet illusory comfort of their status quo normalcy bias cocoons. Amidst the blustering gusts of the self righteous crusaders for truth blowing athwart the silent abysm of unquestioning acceptance languishes an enervation of spirit poised between the yearning of unrealized expectation and the hopelessness of denial.

What is apparent from visiting the various sites purported to be outposts of truth and beacons of freedom across the net is the very bewildering homogeneity of opinion which can only reduce the honest and unbiased researcher to despondency not only at the seemingly infinite array of cherished and yet delusory opinions but the elemental commonality which one encounters with unfailing consistency. Subtly and incrementally manufactured in exposé, half truth and innuendo, the universal language of agreement has been indelibly stamped with the impress of unchallengeable authority into the malleable waxen consciousness of undiscerning acceptance. And yet just as with the minions of Nimrod, this brave assault on the empyrean has stalled, its battlements and crenellations abandoned and forsaken, its very construction left as a monument to the very futility of its invention.

As the day of reckoning approaches in which all the false measures, transparent threats, and empty promises of deliverance are gathered together in the unerring hands of judgment, and the sound of the hammer cock echoing metallically and implacably in the now menacing emptiness of expectation becomes the explosion delivering the projectile unerringly towards its target, the flimsy words of false prophecy will disperse into the void along with the minds and mouths which projected them so furiously and convincingly, undaunted by the incomprehensibility of their sudden and preemptive meaninglessness.

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