Reading Terry Bisson’s Made of Meat again today set me to wondering about how we must look to an alien race such as those conversing in the story. Presumably, the closest thing to sentience that we would have to their mind would be the internet. The description of the Planet’s flora and fauna in Alpha Centauri forming a sort of consciousness by their (to them) random interactions made me think of this.

The internet is a load of electronic impulses, transferring information. There are particular centres of knowledge (as in neural networks, although the structure is lacking) and dysfuntional areas. If an alien race traded in electricity and fibre-optics, rather than “meat” as the story so aptly categorises us, then maybe all they would notice would be our burgeoning power systems (are blackouts losing consciousness for an electricity network?) and the bytes working their way across the fibre-optic mesh.

Is the Internet the new Borg? Does the way that something shows up on one blog and eventually works it way across the entire blog-consciousness show a primitive state of the “we all know everything” approach of the Star Trek cyborgs?

I’m having something of a strange day, in case you were wondering.