The cyber-savvy Bodhisvatta understood fear, response and recovery and was therefore unmoved by Mara’s frightening cyber army, so the Internet of Things unleashed its most powerful weapon, desire. Gotama was momentarily enchanted by the wonderful reality that enveloped him, a world carefully and perfectly constructed to address his pain and deepest aspirations, in his case a world in which everyone he loved had achieved a level of fulfillment none of them had ever known. But that was just it; none of them had ever been even remotely that happy. These could not really be his loved ones, must be illusory. He tried in vain to touch his finger to the earth, as he had millennia ago in defeating the earlier armies of Mara. But the earth, too, was an illusion, just virtual packetized things created by other things he could not reach.
Finally, he tried to invoke his rights to privacy, to no avail. Why? Those rights were designed to regulate and to give remedies against companies and human data controllers and processors that had long ago been supplanted by things. Decades before, many big tech companies had protected privacy by renouncing their access to the personal data, through fog computing that kept the IoT’s personal data in the increasingly interoperable local networks, and/or kept that data at the controlling device level through iOS 9 and its progeny. As the things and devices became sentient, reprogramming each other and themselves, the idea of manufacturer’s liability became as futile as the idea of human data controllers and processors. Eventually the very “ten thousand things,” the illusions of estranged objects that Gotama had once seen through, became — in league with one another — the unseen foundations of all reality.
During that full-moon night in May, Gotama went into deep meditation. As the morning star appeared in the eastern sky, he became an enlightened one, a Buddha, or so it seemed.
Posted from Kakelao, Rajasthan, India, now connected to the internet as envisioned here. Photo by Hannah Neiditz.
As the things and devices became sentient, reprogramming each other and themselves, the idea of manufacturer’s liability became as futile as the idea of human data controllers and processors.