What if we lived in a world where the dynamic of families and the whole idea of social interaction changed completely? A world where people associated themselves with groups of ‘strangers’ more so than their biological families. This may sound like science fiction, but the idea as seen in Ebocloud by Rick Moss may reach reality faster than we are expecting. Ebocloud details a society in which people have become members of a ‘cloud’ society and the idea of loneliness is completely abandoned. This works through the setup of ebocloud.com, which when used, allows people to be assigned to ‘ebos’ or groups that serve as pseudo-families and strive for humanitarian gains. Unlike facebook, “ebocloud pulls you out of yourself rather than competing for who has the most friends” (Moss 203). Coinciding with the main plot of artist Ellison Luber trying to elucidate the mysteries surrounding his girlfriend, the reader begins to see the truly transformative power of ebocloud and its effects on society. For example, with membership to an ebo most members decide to tattoo their ebo logo on their arms. This changed many things, including the way people walked. “Pedestrians’ eyes, rather than straight ahead and unfocused, are directed at the left wrists of passers by, and those wrists are exposed to view…” (Moss 215). The reader can see how a simple online ‘social network’ could start changing the way society functions. Slowly, the cloud continues to expand to a point where people begin adoption “dtoos,” digital tattoos that can map the human brain and send signals to and from the cloud.
This is where the book becomes very interesting and delves into some ethical questions that we may face as a society in the near future. The creator of Ebocloud and dToos, Radu Cajal, states one of the purposes of Ebocloud as the “way to get us to a state of cosmic knowledge, something only religion could previously do” (Moss 289). Essentially with ebocloud and dToos, all of human knowledge and experience can be pooled into the cloud and projected back, sharing the knowledge with everyone. This leads to an extremely efficient, intelligent, and compassionate human race where everyone is skilled and animosity is essentially eliminated between people. This however, is if the ebocloud was to work perfectly. The ethical issues that are raised generally have to do with the downfalls of a system like ebocloud. What if someone cloud control the minds of everyone connected to the cloud, and foster artificial relationships between people, groups, ebos, and nations for ulterior motives? These are the reasons why systems like ebocloud or a ‘hive mind’ scare me. With everyone being experts at everything, the creativity of the human race will soon falter with people just moving from task to task. Overall, the novel Ebocloud by Rick Moss is a very frightening, yet interesting perspective on the future of human society with the exponential rise of technology that is taking place. If used properly and ideally, a system like ebocloud could elucidate the full potential of the human race and the power that comes with cooperation. It could end the idea of wars, fights, and animosity between people. But if left in the wrong hands or used improperly, systems like ebocloud could lead to the generalization of the human race and essentially eliminate what makes everyone of us different.