P2P 2 Networked Brains

Nicole Kidman\’s latest movie \”Invasion\” is a little low on the scare quotient. Or so I thought. But fear is not what I wish to talk about here. There were other such movies in the past. We call them Zombie movies. Like \”Night of the Living Dead\”. Expressionless, man-subjugating, blood-sucking part-human and past-human creatures that strangely move in a regimented fashion. A friend found it interesting that so many people could share a common thought and a common purpose. So, doesn\’t that make zombies better than us? Interesting thought. No wonder that in \’Invasion\’ all world problems seemed to get resolved by the common cause alien zombies. Can we ever develop brains like zombies?

Just a thought. Peer-to-peer file sharing – millions of computers worldwide networked through instantaneous connections, hosting games, music, movies, porn and God knows what else. Isn\’t this the precursor of a singular entity-like humongous hard disk cum operating system? Sun Microsystems proudly says that \”The Network is the Computer.\” Sun sees a future where your digital work, play and identity are all \’online\’. Google is already cashing in on this convergence phenomenon (Google knows everything about you). Predicting this future was never difficult. One look at the Zombie movies and you can predict even farther. Internet is already a sort of common cause, a universal transport bus. When computers are networked, they \’talk\’. Soon P2P networks will evolve into machines with shared operating systems and hard disks; machines that share infrastructure (processors), defence (anti-virus and firewalls), money (credits and bandwidth), tools (applications) and finally the most zombiesque of all qualities – a common cause (seen I, Robot!?).

All that leads to here. Let me bend the space-time continuum and take a quantum leap into the future of digits without shifting any paradigms. I see what? I see Matrix-like brains that can be plugged into your reigning digital machine using a wireless technology (called \’Yellowtooth\’??). I shift the slider on the time scale a little and it gets more interesting. I see Person-to-Person networking by connecting the minds of all humans on this planet (and elsewhere). At the thought of a click, you are connected to the brain of a man relieving himself in the loo of a crater-side cafe on Jupitor\’s moon Titan. Implications and possibilities – Sahil can scrap Sagarika from a beach and Sagarika can text Sahil from the middle of the ocean – different galaxies, if you want. John can check out Jenny\’s lesbian memories and Jenny can check out John\’s SuperPowerPoint slides. No need to download anything at all! Just browse! The next step? A common cause. When our survival depends on a resource that itself depends on we all holding it up together, then a common cause emerges (think, the Earth). Here comes the scary thought – could we turn into zombies in the future? Could we become so much like each other that we\’re indistinguishable? Could we agree so much that all dissent is banned? Finally, could we invade planets using our seamlessly communicating minds? Maybe fear is what I want to talk about!

But thank God for the double helix that humans are neither a common cause nor a common thought life form. We humans crave to retain our genetic identity by compromising our consciousness induced standards. Somehow our survival not only depends on having variety in physical characteristics, but also in thoughts. Still waters stagnate. For growth, it is important to question established thoughts as well as the establishment. To disagree on the way to an agreement is the best form of decision making. That is why Democracy rocks!

Last request – with the future in mind, could we at least agree on a common cause? Or two? One – saving the Earth. And two – not checking out Jenny\’s memories.

Published by Anupam Choudhury

I'm a writer, editor, and blogger from New Delhi, India.

One thought on “P2P 2 Networked Brains

  1. An interesting way of showcasing after effects of society turning into mindless killing machines…I am happy and proud that I belong to a democratic country and fully support the cause to save earth and protect it from becoming a nation of zombies

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: