Endless ascent (Or Simon in the age of technology)

2017-03-09 203 Views

No, look, all I know is that he’d had enough and he left. But how? Just that: he’d had enough and he left. But where’s he gone? I don’t know: he started to climb, and to climb, and he kept on climbing. And? Well, can you imagine? Imagine what? That you like him Sophie? You’re so dumb Marco! He kept on climbing and saying the whole thing was crazy — referring to down below, not about climbing up forever. And that’s it? What do you mean that’s it, if he won’t stop climbing? And then? He just keeps on climbing, as happy as can be. He says that from up there you can see everything clearly and so small that you forget about those hassles that used to piss you off down here. He says that the feeling’s incredible. So what’s he going to do? He says he has the whole thing clear in his mind; and that you can forget about him coming down again any time soon. At best, he might stop climbing, because beyond a certain altitude he starts to need oxygen, and it starts to get a little uncomfortable, a bit like when he was down here and needed oxygen. But if it weren’t for the oxygen, and it’s not like he’s suddenly turned into a scientist or anything like that, and in fact he doesn’t understand it himself, but he really sees now that he needs oxygen because he’s finding it hard to breathe, it’s that simple, and if it weren’t for the oxygen thing — he repeats — he would carry on with his endless ascent. But where did Juan get this climbing thing from? He says he’s not sure where it came from, but he asked me to think about the following to see if I thought he was absolutely right: He says you can climb so high, and that if I don’t believe him I should look up, that it seems stupid to continue moving horizontally, like from one job to another, from this street to another, perhaps from one city to another, and so on… He kept on with his lengthy explanation; although the only thing that stays with me is that the horizontal thing is definitely out. That’s clear. Yeah, well, what’s also clear, Sophie, is that I don’t want him taking you out. Come on Marco, huh? It’s not what you think. I told him perhaps his horizon was broken. Right, you broke it. Can’t you just shut up for a moment Marco? I don’t know why I bothered talking to him! Juan said no way; that might have happened to me before. But now it’s one horizon after another, and even if you do have a horizon in sight, you know that it isn’t the last, and deep down, you know that there’s another horizon beyond. And you say that Juan wasn’t playing the scientist? The boy’s a bit of a wit isn’t he? Give me a break! Let me get on with the story. There are areas —he continued— where matter is compressed to such a point that it occupies an area that is unimaginably smaller, or singular, the interior density of which is infinite. That’s to say, that anything that falls within what’s called the event horizon is consumed, devoured, to a point that we could call “beyond return”, and to such a degree that not even light can escape from this celestial phenomenon. Just like you can’t escape from me, girl. Why is it that every time I want to tell you something important, you come out with nonsense? Sophie, come on, be nice, don’t take things so seriously. This thing you’re talking about is called the trapping effect, it’s the effect you produce in us just by being you. As simple as that. Just let me finish for once, Marco! I was telling you he couldn’t escape because the force of gravity is so great that not even light is fast enough. And you already know that according to the theory of relativity, nothing is faster than light, however much it tries to counter the force of that enormous gravity, not even it can escape. Fuck Juanito’s great escape! The guy’s in a trance! It reminds me of the story of Simon of the Desert, up there in the tower: he seemed like he was from another world, remember? Except that the thing with Juan, Marco, is more of a radical change, or more accurately, a singular change, or to put it more scientifically, we’re going to be whizzing around. Don’t pull that face: I know Marco you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. Don’t think that I know what’s going on, even though I’m telling you. No, Sophie, you know, if I’ve picked up anything, between the fact that I don’t speak English, and that this is something special, well, I kind of half know what’s going on. Are you talking about the singular, Marco? Listen woman, the English thing is just a joke to try to get you to calm down. As the word itself suggests, that means singular: I get it. But Marco, it’s not the singular you know. Basically, what’s going to happen in the coming years is an explosion of intelligence of such a magnitude that we’re going to be reduced to the size of those little ants that we don’t know whether to stand on or not when they cross our path. It’s called technological singularity. Said the genius. Is there going to be so much intelligence around us that I won’t even notice you getting it on with Juan, and that on top of all that you have the nerve to expect me to buy all this bullshit about the singular? Marco, you can think what you want, but what happened, happened, and now we’re in a different place. I just want to finish telling you all this. Think about everything that has happened since the first railway, all the way up to the computer, less than a century, and from the computer on everything is just humming, wouldn’t you say? Yes, Sophie, humming. This certainly is mystical. Look at what I Googled while you were getting it on. Robert Anton Wilson called the hyperbolic (rather than exponential) growth of knowledge we’re subject to these days the Jumping Jesus phenomenon. Check out the Christ!

Apparently, Wilson created a unit of measurement called a Jesus (1j) to group together all the scientific facts known in the year 1AD, and then estimated that it took humanity between 40,000 and 100,000 years to acquire “one Jesus”. Each duplication required a much shorter period of time. So the first duplication Two Jesus (2j) took 1500 years, which took place at the height of the Renaissance. To get to 4j took only 250 years, bringing us to 1750. To get to 8j only took 150 years, up to 1900. We got to 16j within just 50 years: 1950, and 32j by a decade: 1960, and 64j in just seven years during the crazy 1960s, to say, 1967, and 128j in just six years: by 1973 during the oil crisis… By 2000, it was estimated that information would double twice every year. You’re the one who’s getting it on now, aren’t you Marco? What’s the matter with you woman? Are you the only one allowed to lose it? Let’s not forget you were the one who started on about Juanito. Come on, Marco, you love it when I get going with one of my stories. Okay, Sophie, drop it. Drop it? Don’t you realize what we’re talking about? At this rate we’ll reach a point where machines will control everything, and you and I will be redundant. So why fight or worry about anything? Babe, will you ever stop? You get into this terabolic rhythm of reasoning and there’s no keeping up with you. Can you imagine Marco, what the future will be like? Some people believe that technology will take over, and those infinitely cleverer than us robots we created will manage and monitor us like naughty children. Juan is ahead of his time, a pioneer, and if not, then how do you explain that somebody just takes off and starts climbing, never stopping? I certainly wouldn’t have the guts; I wouldn’t even know where to start. Stop! That’s enough dear, I’ve had it up to here with your Juan. He can climb as high as he likes, he can singularize himself, and you can do what the hell you like, because right now I’ve got enough on my plate, okay? You know what I have? It’s called an MH, scientifically known as Mortgage Horizon, but it’s generally known as an FM, a fucking mortgage, and the effect it produces isn’t one of ascent, but rapid descent. So perhaps the best thing would be for you to head on up and I’ll move on down. But Marco… But nothing, Sophie: you up, me down. Now I’m going to get some ice for the party that some enlightened soul out there still believes Christ is organizing on our behalf. (i)

José Félix Valdivieso. Director of Communications. IE Business School


– Robert Anton Wilson: – Gravitational singularity: – What relation exists between Christ and the growth of information?: (Visited: 05/2011)