When I was a teacher, one of my students’ favourite outdoor chase/tag games was based on the food chain. Carnivores ran after herbivores who ran after the plants who had to wait within the boundary marked by a Hula hoop. A game for every personality type in a classroom. I never liked the predator/prey aspect to the activity but at least it started a discussion later in the classroom on the weblike nature of the environment.
The way that all species interact in a complex manner of energy transfer is becoming evident to all of us as we share information about climate change consequences. We are becoming educated to terms like keystone species. We are learning through shocking experience of the close knit connections along the web of life. We are not the top of some theoretical pyramid. All creatures, great and small, are important to sustaining a healthy planet. We have for too long viewed out earthly presence as if we were entitled to be lord and master of all we survey. We have tricked ourselves and lied to others about the interconnectedness of our existence.
“Oh what a what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive.” Was a quote from a poem by Sir Walter Scott that my mom used on me whenever she suspected I was lying to her, then I had to be careful not ‘to protest too much’ hence she would definitely know I was lying about something. I remember having a guilty conscience a lot of the time. My mother had a stout heart yet she was deathly afraid of bugs in general and ‘creepy crawly’ spiders in particular. If webbing ever contacted her face she would shriek for mercy. My mom was not alone; Arachnophobia is on many people’s fear list. Me? I’m an Athazagoraphobe.
In my early adulthood I related to the existential wanderer, Silver Surfer, but my childhood comic book favourite was Spiderman. I liked the way he didn’t use a weapon that hurt, just an unbreakable passive/aggressive net. As a teen I was drawn to the cartoon Spidey, from the popular television series by Grantray-Lawrence Animation. The catchy theme song; “Spins a web, any size/catches thieves, just like flies” was by Paul Francis Webster and Bob Harris.
What’s not to like about the World Wide Web (best invention in my lifetime). I depend on it for communication and researching, I spend a lot of time crawling/scrolling through digital threads. It can be a time suck but mostly it works like a mental butler. I definitely see the benefits to the hammock-like inner world of pixillated Web Design. I might volunteer to be a test subject for the first WWW cranial implant.That way I wouldn’t be bound to my computer, I’d become one! I can see the ads for the procedure: “Enhance your memory! Win Debates! Be a trivia Titan! Get a prothesis to pontificate!”
Cyber Humans? Seems like a natural evolution.