tower of babel

Tower of Babel, by Marta Minujín

The Book of Genesis relates the story of a time when the world shared a same language. With this common language the people of Babel attempted to build a tower to reach heaven. The account reveals that by divine design, or a mysterious ingrained mechanism, no single earthly power gets away with building an echelon system: In biblical terms, of reaching heaven and playing God. As soon as an earthly power does, there is a built-in mechanism that sets in motion a dynamic to destabilize any totalitarian endeavor. The story shows that the Lord’s intervention resulted in multiple languages, confusion and eventually division. This leads to growing confusion, protectionism and economic chaos.

The definition of language does not limit itself to human speech, but to any signs or codes used as  means of communication between two or more entities. One example of a global language consists of codes making up the hypertext markup language (html, http, etc) that allows computers and other devices to communicate between each other in order to create the World Wide Web’s interface. These codes are subliminal, they are nonetheless a language. Unfortunately, the development of this omnipresent language has made it possible for political powers to monitor and control the people.

The Unfolding Schism

The Web became the most pervasive communication interface in the world. However, its global popularity does not mean that other protocols could not be developed and adopted by varied corporations and states in the future.

It is rumored that some states and military from varied countries in the world have already put in place a communication system similar to the original ARPANET, that runs  parallel to the current World Wide Web.

Timing is everything. And necessity is the mother of invention.

What we need to do is reinvent the Net. We have to rethink the Net.
Tim Pritlove


PS: The image  above represents a work of art by Marta Minujín, appropriately entitled Tower of Babel. The structure stands seven stories high. It is located in Plaza San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The piece of art is made of a collection of 30,000 books written in different languages donated from 50 countries.