Social Dust Cloud
Bathurst, New South Wales
What is man
but eschalons of living software,
from molecule to math,
to living dreams in flesh
triangulating future worlds?
What is software if not language,
what is wetware if not software manifest?
Software simply is,
the medium irrelevant.
And so it seems that all is language,
in the beginning was the word.
What is a man
if not a life-ship built by viri’, ’crobes,
and those very software entities just mentioned?
So why should living software pause at skin
and not diasporate the space beyond,
evolving up a system order
to live across a population.
Religion tells us Man is made of dust,
science tells us Man is cosmic dust,
going up a fractal eschelon,
Man himself behaves as grains of dust.
A man can do a thing or two
but folk together can do more,
and so attractive is the job they’ve done
they manifest a gravity their own,
accreting yet more folk.
And with attainment of a certain mass
a fusion will ignite,
and something more than just a sum of parts,
something sentient takes a breath,
and feels a pang of hunger.
Bio: Graham says this poem is based on a thought experiment wherein the notion of a cellular automaton in ‘the game of life’ is extrapolated to a human being in a social milieu. Naturally the person would have thousands more rules than the simple cellular automaton, and be dynamically reprogrammable to boot. This experiment explores the possibility that a sentient emergent system could take birth within the population. Graham also uses the birth of a star as a metaphor, so he says this is a poem about life, the universe and everything.