Home > The Ghost in the Machine > The Ghost in the Machine: Dialogue on the Influence of the Internet, Part 2

The Ghost in the Machine: Dialogue on the Influence of the Internet, Part 2

Salutations, my humble audience!  The post below is written by Steve J. Moore, of theSpigot.  I have copied and pasted it with his permission.  If you have not read Part 1, I strongly encourage you to do so first by clicking here.  Be careful: this discussion may actually make you think, something you are not used to on the Kyle Baxter Project.  Enjoy it, and leave lots of comments for me, Steve, and Nathaniel on our respective blogs!

Starting directly below this sentence is Part 2, written by the aforementioned Steve J. Moore.  I’ll probably have to ask him to write a dumbed-down version so I can understand it.  It is very impressive work!

Part 1 was posted over on NonDeScript first,  Nathaniel Carroll’s budding blog based in Springfield (like me!). I suggest that you click on over there first to prime the conversational pump for this seemingly simple discussion. Below is my reflection.

  • What is then Internet?
  • How do we relate to it?
  • How does it relate to us?
  • Is the Internet “art”?

The Internet is a function of art and life times expression.


So, if we look at the events that are taking place in people’s lives around the globe each day, they exist either as art or not based on opinions, evaluations, and judgments. If we decide that “life” is a general term for every event that takes place in or outside of our awareness, then it operates as a separate coefficient from “art.”

Am I starting to bore you yet? Maths and art? There will be graphs soon, I promise.

Expression can give either negative or positive effect upon the function as a whole, but in order for the identity to be defined, it is required. The Internet cannot exist without “expression” in some form.

I won’t even attempt to ask why “we” exist, but I’d like to know how we exist and function in relation to “I”, the internet. If “P” stands for people, then people are a function of their experiences and other people.

P=ƒ(x, p2)

So, if we examine a person or a group of people’s experiences, then it goes without saying that people besides the said person or group will have an influence upon him or her (notwithstanding the desert island scenario).

Graph Time!


As the above graph illustrates, the functions I and P are integrated, highlighting the importance and interrelatedness of the identities. Ok, so maybe it’s just a nonsense graph I drew on some newspaper, but as Carroll pointed out in his post, the Internet is inextricably connected to our lives today.

Maybe I’ll follow this mathematical tangent a while longer (oh, the puns, they hurt me). If you’ve ever been in the 4th grade, then there’s a good chance that your teacher read to you, as mine did to me, Madeline L’Enengle’s masterpiece A Wrinkle In Time. If not, head to your local library, check it out, and spend a few hours in a coffee shop alone with it.

A “tesseract” is what the characters in the book use to travel through dimensions and time. In math a tesseract is, basically, a cube inside another cube that is also connected. It is  a shape that represents another direction, another dimension of existence. That sounds very philosophical, but it just means lines that extend from the same points into different places.

Before I continue–rather, before I can continue letting you suffer through this math read, I need to make a qualification.

“For me, math is like this: An attractive lady that I never have a chance of actually dating, but with whom I enjoy flirting very much.

Ok, thanks. Now I’ll go on. So if the Internet (which I have to keep reminding myself is a capitalized proper noun) is a function connected to people, then it is like a tesseract; the Internet is a cube inside of another cube that is not floating, but is connected.

Here’s where things get interesting. You can tell from the picture below that this tesseract shape is fairly easy to conceive. It kinda looks like a sugar cube or, if you’re a chemist, maybe some compound’s crystalline structure.


With the exception of all the little greek symbols which I know nothing about, the sape is not a strange escher-esque, floating, mobiüs strip type thing. It’s just a cube inside another cube. Maybe the internet is like this…Maybe the cyberworld, which obviously exists within the human world is just a reflection of the human world.

Math people, you know what’s coming most likely, but regular folks (myself included) prepare to change your pants.

how does it do that?!!?

how does it do that?!!?

Which cube is which? What is the cyber world and what is human? Is the Governor of California going to come out of this cube like a Magic Eye picture if I stare too long?!

The tesseract changes when it is rotated; both cubes stay completely intact, but their positions become interchageable. This is the conclusion that I draw about the relationship of people to the Internet; they are reflexive of one another. They are coefficients of the same variable.

  1. Bob Baxter
    February 8, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Whoa, Bro! This was WAY too complicated for me. And that cube that kept reinventing itself was spooky.
    Also, with that graph (the one that looks like it was done with a Sharpie), isn’t that that symbol that that guy who used to be named Prince came up with?

    • kylebaxter
      February 9, 2009 at 12:57 am

      I know it’s complicated! It hurt my psyche just to attempt reading it. As noted, it is not my original work. I am part of a collaborative effort. I will be posting my piece very soon. I promise it will include all the regular low-brow humor and simple logic you’ve come to know and love from me. My only fear is that my simplicity will bring down the intellectual fortitude of the discussion.

      Yes, Prince was known to experiment with many mind-altering chemicals.

  2. February 11, 2009 at 8:41 am

    I just drew that on some newspaper at my desk. It’s an integral graph. The shaded area is the integral of the curve above it.

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