Thursday, February 23, 2012

A bigger, fatter Now?

This interesting factoid was in yesterday's Wall Street Journal:

"If every image made and every word written from the earliest stirring of civilization to the year 2003 were converted to digital information, the total would come to five exabytes. An exabyte is one quintillion bytes, or one billion gigabytes—or just think of it as the number one followed by 18 zeros. That's a lot of digital data, but it's nothing compared with what happened from 2003 through 2010: We created five exabytes of digital information every two days. Get ready for what's coming: By next year, we'll be producing five exabytes every 10 minutes. How much information is that? The total for 2010 of 912 exabytes is the equivalent of 18 times the amount of information contained in all the books ever written. The world is not just changing, and the change is not just accelerating; the rate of the acceleration of change is itself accelerating."

As you may know I am rather fascinated with
the meta-phenomenon of acceleration. Human evolution itself is speeding up. The universe as a whole is not just expanding, it is expanding faster. Now, the rate of information (or data noise, I would think) is speeding up just like everything else.

Around my land, my family and friends, it is not uncommon for people to comment about how "hectic" life is and how no one "takes time" anymore. Everything is a rush. This is a frequent, ordinary observation in this little part of the world. I don't think it is naive for people to feel that way, it is instinctual knowledge.

my self-brewed notion of karma is fundamental to my personal belief system, I would contend that it is karma that is speeding up. One thing leads to another, only now it seems to be leading to the next thing ever more quickly, or perhaps not just to one thing but to a multitude of things. Karma snowballs. Karma is the fuzzy essence that connects everything and it seems that speed and, more specifically, acceleration is a central force of existence, perhaps the primary force. Who knows?

I find myself aware of the haste of my own life; of the fact that I no longer have the time I desire to contemplate things I consider far more important than the demanding shit that eats up most of my day. What do I do with such awareness? How relevant or irrelevant is slowness in a universe of ever greater speed?

I have no answers. I only know that I keep observing this and I can't escape the notion that if the Now is perpetual and timeless, then instead of going faster (the Now goes nowhere) it is simply becoming fuller. Not necessarily richer, but perhaps a more trashed up Now. That is how the speed of change would be translated into the timeless Present Moment. Which begs the question, if the Now is filling up, how much can it take before it just pops? Or is the Now so vast and infinite that it can accommodate all the "information" in the form of social networks and chat rooms and second-rate blogs like my own along with everything else both meaningful and utterly trivial that humanity can regurgitate?

No one knows but I do wonder. In fact it is inquiry and observation itself that is a basis for my personal sense of wonder.

So, in the sense of the Now, speed is associated with mass, volume, space, density, however you want to cypher it. That means that karma isn't speeding up (that is the appearence or illusion of what we think we see). Karma is, in fact, filling up the Now, or at least spilling into the Now.

It is an interesting conjecture worthy of more thought and trying on how that feels...if I can spare the time.

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