The biggest struggle my fellow modern-day cyborgs and I face is to create a virtual reality that connects more wholesomely with the human part of our nature. The artificial reality we currently plug into is a Terry Gilliam nightmare. Too many characters within it are armed, dangerous, and barbaric. The bright spots within it – few and far-between – are either so childish and sugary as to seem like a parody of our hearts’ deepest needs, or so smart and ironic as to mock any nobler aims. It’s Grand Theft Auto, or Sesame Street, or South Park – take your pick.
Other virtual diversions exist for us, of course. One can find meaningful examinations of human experience, sensible and judicious overviews of economic tensions, intelligent and respectful discussions of critical issues, wonderfully rich book reviews, and so on. But one has to seek out such treasures deliberately – they seldom pop up of their own accord out of the collective net consciousness – and one must have the time, patience, and discipline to attend to them. This is a bit like trying to read Moby Dickin a strip club. And, cyborg nature being what it is, not many of us will end up spending much time with brother Ishmael.