Someone told me that destiny plays hopscotch without any rules. The squares have dissolved, the edges have melted, the numbers have vanished. Isn't this what we most fear? Chaos, lack of control, no center, no direction. Like good gamers everywhere, we pride ourselves on conning the system: we may not follow the rules, we may be innate life hackers, but we do understand what we are hacking into. We have invented a pop consensus without necessarily verbalizing it.

But William Butler Yeats warned us. What happens, he queried, when "the falcon cannot hear the falconer?" And he answered his own question: "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold." Ah but religion holds the answer: God is at the center, and though we may not understand what she does, we do know that she is doing it. Or maybe it's Science that holds the answer: on an eternal quest for the Theory of Everything, we are ready to bestow a Nobel on the one who discovers it.

It's all very neat, isn't it? Except that there are doubters among us suggesting that the universe is an infinitentacled network, functioning without any central authority or controlling hand. Daniel Dennett of Tufts University puts it this way: "the thing about brains is that when you look in them, you discover that there's nobody home". William James called our multiverse "a theatre of simultaneous possibilities". Mr. Gorbachev has torn down that wall and the borders are bleeding.

Boundaries, edges, borders and demarcations regulate our lives and keep us from the panic of chaos. Rules rule and hems hem us in. We may live in a universe of unknowns and unknowables, but we wake up each morning certain that there are forces in control and that those forces don their trousers one leg at a time, just as we do.

Then Kevin Kelley came along, and wrote a book called "Out of Control" in which he speaks of "hive mind", where single unquestioning organisms coalesce to form a new multiplicity. "More is different", as Kelley puts it. "To generate a colony organism from a bug organism requires only that they communicate with each other. At some stage the level of complexity reaches a point where new categories like 'colony' can emerge from simple categories of 'bug'. Colony is inherent in bugness, implies this marvel. Thus, there is nothing to be found in a beehive that is not submerged in a bee."

Now think of yourself as a bee, and the Internet as a hive. The hive bustles without any controlling authority. It thrives on the proliferation of I, and in each I lies the secret of We. The essential thought here is process versus singularity. There is no Supreme Court of Creation. There are no upper caps anywhere. And behind the curtain, there is no wizard of anything.

Scary thought. That's why we invent heaven, martyrdom and virgins, afterlives and seances. Because Michaelangelo's hand reaching out epitomizes our terror: it touches nothing and ends at a void. That's why control is the oxygen to our spirit. Anything that implies loss of control demands instant annihilation. Yeats pictured it for us:

"Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity."

IoBioSynthoGeo describes a world in which man and machine are interchangeable. Organic and engineered lose their differentiation. Walls fall and the hollering mob disintegrates. It's not coming. It's here on your desktop, in your psyche, osmosed into your fiber. Think of a feathered windshield. Think of the shape of a swarm. Think of cascading energies. If you have any lingering doubts about species interoperability, run do not walk to the Juan Enriquez video called "Decoding the Future with Genomes", later referred to as The New Zoo. It sounds like a stew of the Brothers Grimm, Starship Enterprise, Jonathan Swift, and Jules Verne. Only it's not. It's true. It's mind-boggling. It's our new IoBioSynthoGeo world.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2008

Viewers are encouraged to read "The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats" by Jim Dwyer. It is hard to resist the gentle seduction of lines like these:

"When you are old and gray and full of sleep

And nodding by the fire, take down this book."