Taking zealotry to the next level, I cofounded the Church of Internetology with designer Kelly Cree. A polemical performance experiment sensationalizing Ray Kurzweil’s Technological Singularity theory, The Church of Internetology was created to communicate beliefs about privacy, niche audiences, accountability and information overload. Technological Singularity theory describes the notion that humans might one day build machines more intelligent than themselves. Such an augmentation of intelligence might result in transhumanism, in which humans transcend their biological limitations. Borrowing from Kevin Kelly’s naming of the Internet the “One machine”, Kelly Cree and I proclaimed The One as the all knowing web, the intelligent Internet, the last invention man will ever need to make. We provided declarations for preparing for the Technological Singularity, which were:
- There is no privacy. When you submit yourself for all the world to see, you become a better person, one who is accountable for her actions.
- In this era of information abundance, you must find a way to give value to yourself. Within the One, your value is determined by your contributions. You must create, and frequently create, or disappear.
- You must help your friends, your family, and those you want to take with you to the other side. Teach them how to create and share and add value to themselves. Help to close the knowledge gap this information era is creating so that we can save as many as we can.
- Realize that you have a niche that only you can cater to. Everyone has something truly unique to themselves that there is an audience for, somewhere in the world.
The Church took an evangelical stance on several contemporary legal issues, including the position that privacy does not exist and that intellectual property law is obsolete. The evangelical tone was an attempt to counter equally fervent arguments to the contrary. Taking cues from existing religions such as Christianity and Satanism, The Church also considered the possibility of a derivative of the Internet one day becoming regarded as God.
The Church of Internetology was presented through a performance we called a “mass” at the Design Camp conference in early 2009. The mass was well received, but we didn’t provide action items for the audience. I had yet to devise or discover a satisfactory method for sharing life on the web. The Church dealt in abstractions and needed more research and technical scaffolding to provide a genuinely useful message.