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reply to Brian Leigh Molyneaux

A E C  F O R U M - "F L E S H F A C T O R"
I passionately agree with your comments "I can't wait until the electronic
world gets rid of the conceit of Biblical creation - its humanistic vision
- and has its own violent creation, with continents and animal species we
haven't dreamed of." and, earlier, "The problem is that there is more to
the world than the art of human production and reproduction, the extended
space of the human brain. Where is the unorganized, nonhuman space? At
least in the natural world we can stumble on things that are not the
product of the imagination." 

It is so very exciting that new forms of being are coming to life here on
the net. And not only that, but also new *ways* of being. We hear all the
time of people meeting soulmates out in the ether, of telepathy, of the most
inexplicable evolutions in communications going on. I have wondered whether
this is morphic resonance, and would be interested to hear people's views
on that. But whatever it is, it seems to offer more than the simple meat
body can achieve alone and without having its natural electronics enhanced
by hardware.

You say: "I myself have worked in the wilderness and the urban world and now
I work in the electronic world. This gives me more nature to explore, more
environments to confront, inhabit and figure out." When I was writing my
first book "Correspondence" in the late 80s/early 90s and I told people I
was writing a novel about Nature and about Computers, they generally laughed
in disbelief as if the two could never hope to occupy the same universe.
Indeed, the original title of the book was 'Cyberpastoral'. Since then, of
course, there have been many rumours of 'wild' viruses having been
discovered on the Internet. Self-reproducing, feral, and often highly
contagious, it seems they are busily evolving and mutating by processes
closely related to the organic workings of the natural world. This makes
sense to me. I often find that when I am out walking in the countryside I
get the same sense of one-ness or being-ness that I get when I am logged on.
Just to be connected to cyberspace can bring a powerful sense of
completeness which seems ridiculous in theory but undeniable in practice.
Yes, if I were offered the chance to be permanently jacked-in I would take
it. The net makes contact with parts of my brain and my sensorium which were
previously inactive, or even dormant.

You ask "Where is the unorganized, nonhuman space? At least in the natural
world we can stumble on things that are not the product of the imagination."
Right now the internet is peppered with the fragmented writings of its many
explorers, and each has a complex and intimate tale to tell. I think that we
truly are stumbling upon things in cyberspace which are not just the
products of our imaginations. Yet, most of the accounts I come across are
attempts to theorise rather than to straightforwardly document what is
happening. We are trying to pin it down even before we properly know what it is.

Perhaps we need to develop a concept similar to that of the UFO - but this
time, the UIE - the Unidentified Internet Experience! We should be recording
and cataloguing the many many unusual connections which occur daily
throughout this interconnected web of minds (and I do not attempt to define
all of these minds as human).

To use the familiar old SF phrase - Something is Happening out here. If
nothing else, it is rapidly redefining what we perceive as 'normal' human
experience. It's fascinating, it's exciting, and I intend to be part of it
as deeply and as intensely as I can.

Sue Thomas ~ writer ~ Nottingham, England ~ 16th April 1997

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