Image Courtesy of Future Plastik
In Kurt Vonnegut’s The Sirens of Titan, one of the main characters steered his space ship into a unique phenomena called a chrono-synclastic infunibulum. It is a bit difficult to explain – so much so that they kind of gloss over it in the book. Here is the abridged version:
“those places … where all the different kinds of truths fit together.”
Perhaps more relevant to this post is not the ‘what’ of this phenomena, but rather the effect of experiencing it. After running into the CSI, the character and his dog live the rest of their existence as a ‘wave function’ living across different points in space and time. This concept is borrowed from quantum mechanics.
As the web continues to fragment into various web services and widgets, it seems our identity and presence are also going through a change. I am on more services than I have ever been, am sharing more information with others, but – at the same time – have never felt so disjointed. There is not a single place where I can control my inputs/outputs across all of these points in time and space. And the more services that become social, the more information there is to parse. Sometimes I comment via WordPress, other times Disqus. I share through AddThis and Twitter, but communicate mainly via email. I am everywhere, but nowhere – all at the same time.
Perhaps the Social Web is a chrono-synclastic infundibulum?