Ubiqutous Connectivity

by rthieme on June 1, 1998

Now that the world is wired, we see the word “ubiquitous” everywhere. Just a few years ago, you hardly ever saw that word. Now it’s ubiquitous.

The habits of thinking that focus our view of the world change slowly. Stephen Hawking may say that the next generation will understand the world of quantum physics as common-sense reality, but we’re not there yet.

Take Michael Jordan, for example.

Last night the Chicago Bulls, Jordan’s professional basketball team, made it into the finals again. We say that Jordan is unique, but that’s a way of thinking that implies that a specialized cell can live apart from a body. The fact is, the construct called “Michael Jordan” can not exist without everything else in the basketball universe – every player, every fan, all the support staff. “Everything else” creates him, determines his play. Every other being in that universe is essential to Michael Jordan just as every being in the universe is essential to the existence of every other being or every atom is essential to the existence of every other atom.

A few thousand years ago, the explosion of insight called “religion” by the civilization created by the emergence of writing called that fact “radical contingency” and posited a Being as the reason that anything and everything exists.  Whether it’s A Being or simply Being, that “fact” has been percolating through our fact-resistant brains for centuries and now the digital world is giving it an assist.

Michael Jordan alone is not Michael Jordan. Alone, there is no Michael Jordan. In fact, there is no alone. Which is why when we live as if there is, things don’t work as well as when we live as if we belong to one another and to whatever you like to call that ubiquitous Being.

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