Steve J. Moore

The Ghost in the Machine: Part 2

In Philosophy, The Web on February 4, 2009 at 11:26 pm

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. That was beautiful Mathematics and Philosophy.

  2. Thanks for making my brain hurt. Man, and I have to work tomorrow! All I’m going to be able to think about is this square blue Jell-O thing eating itself over and over again. Thanks a lot. And yes, I am still holding my opinion close to my vest. Until Part 4, my friend!

  3. @pochp thank you!

    @kylebaxter I know! It made my brain hurt all day! That animation is going to haunt my dreams.

  4. Great new layout, Steve. I see our new friend @kylebaxter has posted the discussion on his blog. Who’s turn is it now?

  5. I think Ryan Burrell at In All Reality ( is going to post next, KyleBaxter I know for sure is working on his post (which should be hilarious).

  6. This is turning into a really cool traveling blog, or some sort of chain letter. I love it.

  7. That cube animation is one of the coolest things I have seen in awhile. I could probably stare at it for hours… if I had the time to waste.

  8. You keep making me think of this:

    Liking the new theme 🙂

  9. thanks Matt 🙂

    @Tyler P don’t hurt your head staring at it, that gif will own you

  10. Супер статья. Подписался на RSS – буду следить.

    “Has subscribed on RSS – I shall watch.”

  11. Спасибо за статью. Очень помогла.

    “Thanks for clause. Has very much helped.”

  12. […] This post is part of an ongoing collaborative conversation.  You can view Part 1 here, and Part 2 here. […]

  13. Спасибо автору за пост. Помогла в моих начинаниях

    “Thanks the author for a post. Has helped with my undertakings”

  14. Wow Steve, you’re now popular even in Russia.

  15. Хороший пост

    “Good post”

  16. Gute Arbeit hier! Gute Inhalte.

  17. Translation: Good work here! Good contents.

  18. Спасибо за пост. Позновательно.
    Даже и нЁ придирешься!

    TRANSLATION: “Thanks for a post *unintelligible*”

  19. Совершенно хороший пост! Спасибо зо проделанную работу!

    TRANSLATION: “Absolutely good post! Thanks зо the done work!”

  20. Даже и нЁ придерешься!

    TRANSLATION: “Even you will not carp!”

  21. Отменноя статья, вызнал много нового!)

  22. Хорошая статья, узнал много нового!)

  23. Достаточно интересная и познавательная тема

  24. >Отменноя статья, вызнал много нового!)

  25. thanks for the article!
    more upgraded

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