The Age of Artifice

The Age of Artifice September 2, 2019


Seeking transcendence without commitment
Or intimacy without relationship,
The threefold cord is severed,
Between I and Thou and the other.
Pleasure without purpose
Without the personal
Is but a fleeting spasm of feeling,
A willow of the wisp one chases
But never catches.

In the internet age,
The medium sends a message
That connection without commitment
Is fine.
No need to have more than a screen name,
No need to treat the other as a person,
Trolling keeps rolling along,
While the troll hides behind anonymity.

But this medium is a paradox—
The means of connection also creates a mountain
Of separation, that prevents
Real intimacy
Real relationship
Real encounter,
Real marriage
Real one flesh union,
Real offspring.
And without any of these things,
Humanity is left reeling.

Awaiting the awakening
When artificial intelligence
Takes over,
And the substitute
Becomes the supplanter,
The Zeitgeist consumes the soul
The means becomes the end
And ends
The tool becomes the tyrant
And Watson morphs into Holmes,
In homes.

As Eliot asked:
“Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in [mere] information?”
Now nearer to omniscience, no nearer to God.

There are things in this life that do not compute…..
And these are some of them.

BW3 August 18, 2019

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