Thursday, March 29, 2012

flotspam and botsam

in the Toop piece in The Wire, I write about how the ocean-of-information that is the internet has become clogged with data-trash... i compare it to the Gyre, aka the Pacific Trash Vortex, where all the disintegrated-into-teensy-nodules plastic litter has been carried by tidal systems to form one gigantic disgrace-to-the-species sargasso-sea of non-biodegradable dumpage

well, news that "software is using more bandwith than people" and that "51 percent of total online traffic is non-human" makes Tower of Sleep reach for the same analogy:

"This kind of makes me think of the Great Pacific Trash Vortex or how the airspace in low Earth orbit is all cluttered full of “space junk” already from all the satellites we’ve sent up. Even in a space that we’ve created and that we usually (and somewhat erroneously) think of as immaterial or virtual, we have managed to make a mess. I think we have a long way to go in terms of developing a more ecological frame of thinking that accounts for all the assemblages that compose reality. This is a good reminder that we need ecological thinking for the internet, too."

often trawling through the internet is does strike me as this teeming,
abject waste-land... a right DUMP

naive to expect it to be otherwise, though, i suppose... anything that humans make is going to mirror our condition... our vices and virtues alike

that article and Tower of Sleep's gloss on it makes me think of two further things:

Rem Koolhaas's deliriously writhing text Junkspace, which is ostensibly mostly about architecture but keeps blurring repeatedly such that it seems to be about the internet, or some of the stuff Retromania is talking about (glutted and clotted) or ALL CULTURE NOW

and that doomsday-scenario conjured up by those who worry about the development of nanotechnology: Grey Goo

aka (via wiki) "out-of-control self-replicating robots consume all matter on Earth while building more of themselves, a scenario known as ecophagy ("eating the environment")"

Eric Drexler coined the concept in his book Engines of Creation:

"Though masses of uncontrolled replicators need not be grey or gooey, the term "grey goo" emphasizes that replicators able to obliterate life might be less inspiring than a single species of crabgrass. They might be "superior" in an evolutionary sense, but this need not make them valuable"


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