The Digital Asylum - What Makes Digital Life Chaotic But Rewarding?

Close your gate, connect your Bluetooth, play The Doors. Start your laptop, check those notifications and get transported to the world full of possibilities where you can be anyone, you can be anywhere. Congratulations! You are successfully teleported to the elusive Digital World. Your mind is free, your desires are empty, you have nowhere else to go. You are trapped inside; you are slowly becoming an invisible man. You are talking about parallel universes, flying elephants; you actually trust the Hugo award-winning science fiction short story called “Folding Beijing”. You grab your popcorn, you start binge-watching, Stranger Things and The Punisher keep your mind busy and heart pumping with that uninterrupted glee. Is it raining outside? Is the dense fog creating chaos? You no more care.

You mingle with the aliens in your dining table, you see your own shadow between the walls, you waste your time on silly conspiracy theories, you still believe Moon Nazis are real. You believe the Lizard People controls our planet, you wish to be the vampire to woo your crush and take her up to the cliff and jump down to glory. Your childhood is wasted, your youth is finished, but you never feel old here. You get the regular dose of Likes, Love, GIFs, and Videos. You beautifully interact with the bots. The sun is gone now, the moon conspires against you but you hardly care. You no more drive, you actually fly. You no more dream, you actually get inside other’s dreams, you make them shiver as you believe seeing strangers in your dreams actually symbolizes some ghost watching you while you are sleeping. You believe the Zombies will chase you if you don’t buy a ticket to the zombie land.

You get turned on by watching vampires transforming people by sucking their blood. You have a thing for the pale, sharp beings. You hallucinate, you are delusional, you constantly support the Batman. Are you human? Nope, transhumanism is real, he says. He believes the last phase of mankind will be transhumankind. You will have artificial limbs and superhuman heart. You won’t breathe, you will only be wired. The artificial intelligence won’t kill jobs; it will make you rich slaves. You will be tracked down if you violate any rules; you will function according to the manmade algorithms. There will one Government running the world. There will be nanobots that can kill the germs and steal our memory. Technically you live forever.

You will be living in the numerical grassland in future. You will be interacting with holograms your access to the outer world will be disconnected completely due to the killing smokes. There will be realism but it will be more like an option. Supermarkets will be empty, the parks will be gone, space will be limited but there will be entertainment at galore. The horses and the elephants will exist and you can take a safari from your living room. You can open your door and step into a pub without commuting. You will be teleported.

This is the last phase of global reality as the future will be more about enjoying the virtuality. This is the transition phase as we could see our heroes Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos working hard to give us a world that we not really want. They will create the tunnels to the black hole and invite the aliens to abduct us. Future superheroes will be more like Cyborgs. Stephen King’s novels will no more exude horror rather the transhumans will laugh at them as there will be no ghost in real but they will travel through wires, get inside your head and transform you into a living horror.

Humanity’s last hope lies in the simplicity. The day we add more mechanics, physics, and scientific logic, it becomes hollow, cold and lifeless hence we should never lose connection with nature that constantly trying to make us feel more humane. Just like our yesteryears, we no more feel the joy of doing trivial things; we have cravings for the higher understanding still we love to think deep, bring in several universes in our world. We try to connect the dots; we try to entertain ourselves with whatever resources we have now which were not there earlier. Every year, a new trend rather a new invention takes humanity to a different level. We are surely living in the world of possibilities where we can practically do all the things that were considered impossible in the past. The Digital Life is very convenient as there is more engagement now but we can’t ignore the real world which actually satiates our physical needs like eating a fulfilling lunch and hanging out with a partner without a cloak of virtual dust. We are at the most confusing phase as we constantly play tug-of-war between reality and the seductive algorithmic world.

We are moving at a rocket speed and if a man from the 1960s somehow manages to time travel into this era, he will be lost in so much magic. We, humans, are utterly confused now. Are we ready to embrace the future that comes with tremendous possibilities or we are happy with the kind of life we are experiencing now? The past was beautiful because there were trees and raindrops but now sitting here and staring at the empty glass wall in the year 2070, as I have time travelled to the year when I was in my 30s. I found the world was a better place then. The Digital Asylum is what we got now after so many innovations and regular up-gradations but we crave for the mountains and the hills, poetry of Keats, Byron, Shelley and the fresh smell of lilies which blossomed freely in my open balcony.

This article got featured here: The Assam Tribune

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