Thursday, May 1, 2008

Quest for the Holy Blue Ball

My week began with a journey into another dimension that I've yet to fully escape. After scrawling some sigils on the whiteboard that barely represented an Internet profile I chanted for two hours about online relationships and game theory. At first it felt as though I had simply experienced a memory dump, but slowly I began to see the energy that we share amongst ourselves. It was then that I realized that I was on a Quest to find the Holy Blue Ball.

To be honest: I've already discovered the Holy Blue Ball. I say Holy because it looks like a loosely bound ball of brilliantly blue rubber bands of light -- or more precisely, the faint shadow of a Holy Blue Ball (heretofore referred to as the Ball). I have no idea where the Ball came from. What I do know is that when I visualize the Blue Ball and shape it into a thought, I can then attach the Ball to an email or a blog and share my experience with the viewer.

Note the key word above: Experience. Imagine reading a series of sentences exchanged between two people. Now, imagine the last argument in your relationship. This experience is what connects the ephemeral world of art and ideas with the tangible world we live in. Without the experience we simply have a list of words that have no meaning beyond their definition. This Experience is the Blue Ball of Light that we shape and share through communication. Or, at least, it used to.

As it happened, when the process of transmitting information required a recording device -- such as paper and pens, audio recordings, et al -- these records were then passed on to their respective recipients. Not much changed when computers came online. Documents were written and sent to the right people, who filed the paperwork until it was necessary to retrieve it. Then things got lost; others, stolen. And Bureaucracy set in and the world went to Hell because nobody loves paperwork.

What is missing from the equation above is that Ball of Light. There is no community; no network. There is simply lines of data processed by drones. The entire point of communicating, to share an experience, has been lost to a paradigm that favors efficiency over quality. Without sharing experiences with one another we have no quality to offer. Thankfully, we have social and peer-to-peer networking to thank for turning our old operating systems into new cooperating systems.

So here's the question: What is this Blue Ball of Light that I hold in my hands? I know that it can share experiences with others across a variety of mediums, and helps to create a bond of community between those who witness it. But what is it called, and how simply can it be described so that everyone says: "Of course I know what you're talking about! Why would anyone communicate without it?"

(Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated.)