Thursday, November 17, 2005


From Genesis 11 (note that Genesis 10 finishes the account of the Flood):

The whole world spoke the same language, using the same words. While men were migrating in the east, they came upon a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to one another, "Come, let us mold bricks and harden them with fire." They used bricks for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and so make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth. The LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men had built. Then the LORD said: "If now, while they are one people, all speaking the same language, they have started to do this, nothing will later stop them from doing whatever they presume to do. Let us then go down and there confuse their language, so that one will not understand what another says." Thus the LORD scattered them from there all over the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the speech of all the world. It was from that place that he scattered them all over the earth.
Now read this:

"It would seem that science fiction is slowly turning into science fact in an 'Internet of Things' based on ubiquitous network connectivity," the report [entitled "Internet of Things" by the International Telecommunication Union] said Thursday, saying objects would take on human characteristics thanks to technological innovation.

"Today, in the 2000s, we are heading into a new era of ubiquity, where the 'users' of the Internet will be counted in billions and where humans may become the minority as generators and receivers of traffic," it added.

Currently there are about 875 million Internet users worldwide, a number that may simply double if humans remain the primary users of the future.

But experts are counting on tens of billions of human and inanimate "users" in future decades. They would be tied into an all pervasive network where there would be no need to power up a computer to connect -- "anytime, anywhere, by anyone and anything", the report said.

I happened to find some entries from a blogger circa 4000 B.C:

So my uncle's on the Committee for Development and Technology, and he was telling me about this new building material they're designing called brick. He says that when you make buildings by sticking a bunch of these bricks together with a substance they're calling mortar, running water won't break up the buildings...

...There was a big buzz around camp today. Some guys came up with an idea to build houses for everybody out of brick and mortar, and to build a huge tower in the middle of them. Sounds like a good plan to me. The tales passed down by our ancestors indicate that they all knew people who didn't survive the Great Flood because they couldn't reach a high enough hill. The plan is to make enough bricks to build a tower higher than any mountain, so if another flood happens we'll all have a place to climb to. It'll be nice to be able to rely on ourselves instead of putting blind trust in some faceless god...

...Tower's looking pretty sweet - been a lot of work going on. I've been putting in almost 20 hours a day at the brick factory, so I can't write too long - real tired.

You'll never guess who I just saw walk into town: God! That's right. Everybody's waiting to see what he wants...

...Nerflip begonk schpoom glerk? Na dhaja blinip skoho! Delfiq zhubaba glin wroxy blone. Se gluf....

After that it gets hard to understand.

My point is, this internet fad is getting dangerous. Not in or of itself; there is no intrinsic evil in the availability of data (unless the data is evil!). The danger of the internet is that it gives man a bloated sense of accomplishment and pride. It is a catalyst, hastening the corruption of man.

The internet's pretty neat, sure. But, like the Tower of Babel, it won't save us. When God says of the Babelites "If now, while they are one people, all speaking the same language, they have started to do this, nothing will later stop them from doing whatever they presume to do," he is not saying that man can defeat God. He's saying that man won't stop trying to defeat God even when he fails at it. He's saying that we don't learn. His act scattering us across the earth was an act of mercy.

But now, we are once again approaching global convergence. Man can now plot his own downfall in full unity, as before.

The internet is becoming BabelWeb.

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