Ebocloud by Rick Moss transports us to a potential future in which one of our generation’s biggest creations, social networks, have continued to develop and grow in influence. In this society, the biggest and best social network is the Ebocloud. It is described in the novel as the anti-Facebook. Whereas Facebook is all about superficial judgments and individual status climbing, Ebocloud by design fosters altruism and group identity. People who sign up for the network are put into ebo families, tribes, where the members refer to themselves as cousins. They communicate with each other using all sorts of mediums, even text messaging and blogging like we have today. The purpose of establishing these close-knit networks is to work with other people to build a better planet (57). This is accomplished by incentivizing good deeds. Kar-merits are given out for accomplishing good deeds and used to establish rankings and elders who get to sit on the cloud council. All sorts of other internal review metrics and variables are factored in to the ranking system and matching people with projects. These checks and redundancies are employed as a means of security and verification, similar to things like Yelp that we have today where it is open to the public for content but there is an internal system of crediting.
As a ‘futuristic’ social network, ebocloud makes use of a lot of technologies people today predict we will have in the future. One of the most interesting and important ideas in the novel is the BCI, brain-computer-interface. In this Ebocloud project, ebocousins will be hooked into ‘computers’ via digital tattoos, dToos, so that knowledge and commands can be shared between people and improve the mechanism for matching cousins with group activities. Ebocloud, and BCI in particular, demonstrate the idea of singularity, bot not exactly the kind of singularity we have talked about before. Singularity in Ebocloud involves the joining of the individual mind to a group collective conscious rather than a computer. For example, the BCI can employ electrical stimulation or neurotransmitter release to manipulate mood, feelings, thoughts, etc. Used across tribes, this will create a network of group feelings that will give us a new language and help us attain global comprehension of objective truth (286). It is all about love for each other. As a class, we were mostly creeped out by this intimate connection to people we had never meet before.
The way Ebocloud supposes to utlilize the brain in its technology is very relevant to my final paper topic. One of my arguments is that in the future we will use brain scans to evaluate people. The physical brain is analyzed to decode thoughts, emotions, etc. In the novel, the BCI began with a big project to map and ‘chart’ the human brain. This information will be used in the BCI to capture the data behind a thought or impression and transmit it to your tribe where they can decode it and experience the associated feelings. Mapping the brain cannot only be used to read minds but the knowledge can also be used to manipulate them.