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Mirror, Mirror on the World Who's the Darkest of Them All?

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By John Kendall Hawkins

Dunbar's number, the famous estimate of how many relationships you can meaningfully maintain in life, is just 150.

- Edward Snowden, Permanent Record (2019)

I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together

- The Beatles, "I Am The Walrus," (1967)

Dot-Dash. Here-Gone. Off-On. In-Out/Out-In. One-Zero. 2B or 2B. Being and Nothingness. At the same time. Anal-Digi-Quanthump. The Dot Com lowers the boom. f*ck me, if I can follow; I need help. Is this AA; am I in the right place? It makes me think of what Eddie Snowden said last year in his illegal memoir, Isn't "journalism about following the bread crumbs and connecting the dots? What else did reporters do all day, besides tweet?" (About the president's tweets.)

They could start with the dot. A little dot'll do ya. You, me, her. Them, especially Them. Connect the dots, degrees-of-separation style. Think of us all as synonyms and antonyms (fer me or agin me) and how definitions change, depending on who's calling the narrative shots. Plug a word into the Visual Thesaurus (try Friend) and see what happens. Like Snowden wrote in Permanent Record,

We are the first people in the history of the planet for whom this is

true, the first people to be burdened with data immortality, the fact that our

collected records might have an eternal existence.

It's hard to get your head around -- digitals dots of electromagnetic self, jittery particulates of consciousness, arrayed someWhere, forever. And the closer we get to total online hivemindedness (the Internet as a need), the closer we get to the self-conscious extinction of our species.

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John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelance journalist and poet currently residing in Australia. His poetry, commentary, and reviews have appeared in publications in Oceania, Europe and the USA, such as Cordite, Morning Star, Hanging (more...)
 

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