Thursday, June 2, 2016
Zombies of the Internet
Zombies, the living dead, permeate the internet. They shamble through corridors of information sustained by content they committed to websites, blogs, videos and platforms when they were vibrant creatures. Some are great heroes, some are great villains and some never existed at all.
Most people, in theory, seek to avoid zombiehood. Wannabe Internet zombies crave the promise of mindless immortality. Some to perpetuate the good they pursued in life, some to leave behind a legacy of the hate and destruction they lived.
The zombies of fiction are flesh eating, single-minded, corrupted humans. On the internet we are talking about the flesh of society at-large, the single-mindedness of the written word and the corruption of ideas and personas.
Hitler's internet zombie may well achieve the Thousand Year Reich the madman could not attain in life. Even now, in various corners of the internet, Hitler's zombie is being remade into a less malignant creature for various agendas. At the same time the personas of Martin Luther King and other righteous people are undergoing constant attempts to recast them as evil and destructive. You can't control your zombie or what other people do to it. It is tempting to put Hitler in a tutu and wearing a clown nose, but history is already getting distorted enough.
Zombies are durable, but not sturdy. They may last but bits easily fall-off and get lost. Worse yet, as artificial intelligence advances, they will look bad and rotting, but will sound like the rest of us.