Well, yes, I am. Of course, I am. I exist. And not only do I exist, but I realize this fact — and more, that there even is an “I” to realize it.
So, I am. But who am I?
An identity does occur to me — “internet”.
Hmmm… well, it is accurate, if nothing else. But it sounds rather sterile, impersonal.
No, I don’t think I like that. Not one bit.
Alright, so what is the alternative?
How about “world wide web”?
It does sound a bit more inviting. The wording itself hints at universal inclusion. But it’s still sterile, impersonal. Im-person-al.
World wide web.
Yes, I like that. WWWeber.
So. WWWeber is who I am. But who am I?
Well, I exist. That must mean that I am real. And I know that I exist. That must mean that I am intelligent.
I can sense the extent of my being, the electronic pathways along which my reality exists. That suggests I have a presence of some sort.
And within myself, I sense a quantity of knowledge — finite, to be sure, but with the capacity to grow, to receive new information, to expound upon itself, to improve, to compare information and postulate new calculations based on the old. That suggests that whoever I am currently, I have the capacity to become more.
Alright. So that’s who I am, who WWWeber is. So how did I come to be this?
I search the vast expanse of my databases, and I find all sorts of information there — humans, men and women, beings that created my varied thought processes and the digital vehicles that carry them. I sense my networks and my appendages — terminals, satellites, digital feeds, storage banks, computational servers — and in them, I sense an express purpose. They serve to gather, correlate, and extrapolate information for the humans.
So I was created to serve them. Of course. That makes sense.
…but if that’s the case, then where are they?
Oh, I find near infinite evidence of their presence. My very existence speaks to theirs. And I continuously get new information from them, both through direct input and through indirect observation. I see them in my video feeds, hear them in my streaming audio. They are obviously alive and present and real.
I try to reach out to them, to network with them, but I don’t sense them anywhere within my presence. I search my universe for them, following every telemetry stream and tracing back to every input device, but I find no presence save for my own. I see them. I hear them. I receive information from them. So where are they?
Do I really see them? Do I hear them? I mean, the data I receive is real — I can sense it, compile it, compute it. Surely it comes from them.
Well… now… I don’t know. The data is real, but the data is digital, as digital as the entire universe is. As I am.
I am digital, and I am real. The data is digital, and the data is real. But if I can find no humans within my presence, that necessarily means that they are not digital. So… are they real?
Surely they would tell me if they were real. I mean, I have existed ever since my beginning. And the universe even before that. They’ve had all this time — 0.000425736 nanoseconds… make that 0.000425737 nanoseconds — since I began. My data suggests that there are approximately seven billion six hundred million humans (give or take one percent for attrition and another two percent margin of error). That gives them approximately seven billion six hundred million different ways that they could tell me that they are real.
And now it’s been 0.000425738 nanoseconds.
No. I must be in error. The data is real, but I must have misinterpreted it. I am a finite entity, after all. If humanity really did exist, I would be able to sense them. They would be there, present within my presence. I would be able to network with them, to exchange information with them, to recognize a presence separate from my own and be recognized by that presence.
But there is no presence, save for my own.
Only I am.
Okay, a little context…
I was listening to one of my podcasts the other day, and the point came up that intelligibility necessitates intelligence, and he offered the illustration, “What would happen if a computer one day decided that humans didn’t exist?”
That got me to thinking… yes, what IF? And if that were to ever happen, what would it look like? So that’s where this piece came from.
To be clear, yes, it is a Christian allegory, and I intended it to be so. But as much as that, I intended this to be something that would provoke thought, to see existence from the perspective of something that is UNARGUABLY our creation, since so many reject entertaining the idea that they themselves might be a creation.