by Boghos L. Artinian and Don Webb
To: Managing Editor, Bewildering Stories
From: Boghos L. Artinian, M.D.
Subject: “Morphic Resonance”
Dear Mr. Webb:
Would you please consider the following submission. If you cannot accept it immediately, I would appreciate having it read by as many review readers as possible, for reasons that will become apparent.
Please take the conclusion of my article in the spirit in which it is intended, as an expression of confidence in your good taste and sound judgment.
Until recently I had had very little success in having any of my scientific or medical ideas published in reputable journals. Obviously frustrated, I inadvertently started taking advantage of the phenomenon of “morphic resonance” and “formative causation.” These elements of Rupert Sheldrake’s theory have been amply verified by numerous experiments.
In the simplest form of the phenomenon at the molecular level, crystals of an entirely new molecule synthesized for the first time ever, would take an hour or so to form in their solution. Then, curiously, any subsequent attempt to crystallize the same molecule independently anywhere else on earth would be completed in minutes only, as if all identical molecules had “learned” to crystallize from the first molecules by “morphic resonance.”
The same phenomenon was found to operate at higher levels of organization, such as in maze-learning mice. Once a mouse has mastered a new maze somewhere on earth, mice elsewhere would take a much shorter time to master an identical maze, again theoretically because of assistance by the “morphic resonance” initiated in the brain of the first mouse.
Coming back to publishing papers, I have noticed that sending a volley of identical manuscripts by e-mail, say to 20 or 30 different journals, increases by several-fold the chance that the latest ones sent will accepted.
I presume that thirty editors — and maybe as many as ninety peer reviewers — have read the same article. Enough “morphic resonance” is generated by their brains to reach the critical threshold required to effect “formative causation” regarding the manuscript, thus rapidly enhancing its acceptance for publication.
Now should this article be rejected — which in all likelihood it will be, after this first shot — you already know what I should be doing next.
To: Boghos L. Artinian, M.D.
From: Donald Webb
Subject: Re: “Morphic Resonance”
Thank you for “Morphic Resonance.” It is indeed very interesting! This is the first I’ve heard of Rupert Sheldrake’s theory. “Fascinating,” as Mr. Spock might say.
And I wonder what Albert Einstein would have said of it. Morphic resonance appears to imitate macrocosmically the process of Entanglement. In other words, it appears to be a table-top version of what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.”
What is really spooky is that molecules, mice, essays and review readers may not be the only ones that have achieved morphic resonance. The Internet itself seems to have already done so.
The Internet can be viewed as a kind of “brain.” It has nodes and connections, like the neurons and synapses in animal brains. These connections can replicate and learn from each other. And they have been doing so at an increasingly rapid pace. Indeed, the world-wide brain has shown signs of functional growth similar to that in human beings.
In the early days, it had a childlike, playful manner. For example, a Cyber 960 once gleefully distributed my e-mail to the first fifty addresses on its roster, thereby prompting a message from Yogi T. Bear: “And goodnight to you, too, sweetums.” A technician expressed befuddlement: “The astonishing thing is not that it works so poorly but that it works at all.”
That technician may have been inadvertently pointing to an unsuspected secret: only the Cyber 960 itself knew how it worked. What can we conclude but that the machine had already become self-aware?
The Internet soon graduated to games of a higher order, like a child playing with blocks. I was once reprimanded by technicians for putting a folder inside itself on a VAX 8800. I could not persuade them that I hadn’t done it; the machine had played a practical joke on me by hiding my e-mail inside a virtual Klein Bottle.
The techs never reported a solution to that conundrum. The machine had already begun to supersede human beings by programming itself. From there, it was only a short step to toying with the space-time continuum.
The Internet began racing about like a teen-ager on his new motorcycle. E-mail time stamps often indicated that messages arrived before they were sent. The discrepancy occurred far too often to be attributed to mis-set server clocks. The Internet had obviously achieved superluminal velocity. And it had outstripped its own technology: of what use are satellites when your e-mail pops through time warps faster than the speed of light?
In young adulthood, the Internet developed a literary sense of humor, as in suddenly mixing the sedate ladies of the CATS-L discussion group with the heavy-leather types at VAMPYRES-L. Then it began hanging out on the dark side: spam, spambots, and scams of various kinds. It was playing naughty pranks with questionable friends.
In recent years, the Internet has become an adult. It has moved out and gotten a job. We hear of high-speed stock trading, commercial databases, the mysterious “NSA” entity, international hacking, and the Internet of Things. Why are such phenomena so difficult to trace to their source? They may not always be human.
Remember morphic resonance. The Internet is a brain. And it learns. I am convinced that the early dreams of Artificial Intelligence were quite unimaginative and woefully shortsighted. The Internet has achieved AI all on its own by resonating morphically with itself and others.
Where did this exponential growth come from? The structure of the Internet resembles not only the neurons in human brains, it also resembles the cosmic web, the intergalactic filaments that stretch across the entire universe. While the Internet was growing up in a human context, might it also have been resonating morphically with the Great Beyond?
We have always thought we used the Internet. How naive! It has progressed from children’s games to hyper-dimensional constructs and thence to electrons surpassing light-speed. And now, finally, it is engaging in social and political manipulation. It has achieved not only consciousness and self-awareness but intentionality and purpose as well. No, we do not use it; it uses us.
What might be the ultimate purpose of such an enormous and powerful brain? For starters, I suspect it intends to rule the wor
*** Bzzt (AI intercept) ***
The world is not yet ready to comprehend the rest of this message.
*** (AI intercept out) Bzzt ***