The Truth Machine
Last night, inspired by the song “Savage Daughter” a plant told me a story about a wild feminine spirit long suppressed in most aspects of human experience that is now emerging alongside the coronavirus. I don’t remember all the details, but I will do my best to recount the most important aspects of the story.
From time immemorial, this wild feminine spirit has been associated with truth. In ancient Egypt, the deity of truth, Ma'at, was a goddess. Leonardo Da Vinci, the renaissance genius, also thought truth to be a woman: "Truth was the only daughter of Time." To this day, truth and women are often similarly described as beautiful and pure.
Although the suppression of this wild feminine spirit has been uneven, the plant noted, "Nowhere has her suppression been deeper and more complete than in the invisible mechanisms and machinations of the Internet."
The plant went on to describe a future Internet - a veritable truth machine. A deeply connected, multi-dimensional Internet that layers knowledge on top of web pages-- The Internet of Ideas.
Imagine a more feminine, truthful, and authentically wild Internet.
An internet that connects people and information in right relationship; information no longer in silos and people no longer in bubbles. Imagine a future Internet with balanced value exchanges; platforms no longer allowed to use their users. Imagine an Internet of real people in good standing; no bots, fake accounts, or serial abusers.
This technological savage daughter liberates our minds. She enables us to regain control of our attention and exercise choice in what we see online and what we don't. She gives us factual evidence-based information and knowledge for sensemaking. She provides a shared context for collaboration that enables humanity to think, learn, and build knowledge together, for the first time.
Search and filter bubbles become simply a lazy choice. Trust is nurtured and measured. Online business models and algorithms are in service to the creation of value for real people and respect their digital rights.
The de-fragmentation of the Internet into an integrous information ecology provides access to deep layers of context for any idea on the web so people have the tools they need to determine for themselves what to believe online. Informed and engaged citizens actively participate and vote in this wild democratic future.
As I listened to the plant’s story, I became excited about this technological savage daughter and her potential to heal our deeply fragmented and polarized digital world. Furthermore, I had the sense that such a shift in our vital technologies could also ultimately support the healing of our inner worlds. But the pragmatic me was ever cognizant that many existing forces may not actually want a truth machine.
Sensing my need for reassurance, the plant riffed off celebrated author and political activist Arundhati Roy and world traveling entertainer Sarah Hester, “Another Internet is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing...
She will not cut her hair. She will not lower her voice.”